DENIM EXECS RAISE FUNDS TO HELP MARCH OF DIMES

Byline: Ray Clune

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This city was officially renamed Jeansboro, U.S.A. — for one day last week — in honor of the jeanswear executives who teed off to raise money in the fight against birth defects and infant mortality.
Participants in Monday’s third annual Blue Jeans Classic golf tournament included denim, garment, fiber and retail executives who helped kick off the national March of Dimes Blue Jeans for Babies campaign.
At the end of the day at the Sedgefield Country Club here, they had raised more than their goal of $75,000.
The event has raised more than $135,000 in two years. It gives a jump start to the $1.5 million goal the March of Dimes has set for this year’s national BJFB campaign. The national effort raised $1.4 million in 1996.
The BJFB campaign urges individuals and companies to buy buttons for $3 to $5 that allows them to wear jeans to work for a day, or for the whole week, which is being observed this week.
The golf classic is sponsored by Jeanswear Communications. Its members include American Cotton Growers, Avondale Mills, Buffalo Color Corp., Burlington Industries, Clariant Corp., Cone Mills Corp., Cotton Inc., Courtaulds Fibers, DuPont, Greenwood Mills, Mount Vernon Mills, Swift Denim, Thomaston Mills, Trevira and Wellman Inc.
Other companies represented in the tournament included Coats American, J.C. Penney, Levi Strauss, VF Corp. and Virkler.
“This has turned out to be quite a successful tournament — not only for the jeans business, but for the March of Dimes,” commented Dutch Leonard, president of Burlington Denim.
Cotton Inc. senior vice president of marketing Ira Livingston said the event helps promote the industry and reinforces a positive image.
Some executives said they would like to see more retailers at the event.
“That’s the one thing that’s really missing,” said Watts Carr, president of Cone Denim. “We had some schedule conflicts, and we’re thinking about changing the venue to Monday-Tuesday (rather than Sunday-Monday) to see if that might make it a little easier to get some executives from other retailers here.”

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