b. dazzle, inc. JOINS “CHARACTER COUNTS!” COALITION; VOWS TO DROP MEMBERSHIP IN ANY TRADE ASSOCIATION NOT HAVING A CODE OF ETHICS
REDONDO BEACH, CA…MARCH 29, 2005… b. dazzle, inc. of Redondo Beach, California, has announced that it has become an official member of the “CHARACTER COUNTS!” Coalition and that as of January 1, 2006, b. dazzle, inc. will no longer maintain membership in any trade association that has not adopted an enforceable code of ethics.
According to b. dazzle Founder, President and CEO, Kathie Gavin, “b. dazzle, inc. benefits greatly from the opportunity of participating in America’s dynamic and competitive free enterprise system. Because our society places such a high value on material success, there is the tendency in human nature to pursue success by any means, whether fairly or unfairly, honestly or dishonestly. We strongly believe that with our success comes a duty for us to contribute to our society. We wish to do so by advancing the principles of good character and ethical behavior, not only by operating our business in accordance with ethical standards, but also by advancing and promoting the importance of ethical business practices and ethical behavior throughout our industry and our society at large.”
b. dazzle, inc. executive vice president, Marshall Gavin adds, “When the concepts of right and wrong are casually compromised in the expedient quest for materialistic accumulation, the fabric of our society is torn and our free enterprise system is undermined. High visibility scandals among large corporations such as Enron, MCI/Worldcom, Arthur Anderson, and Merrill Lynch, undermine consumer and investor confidence in our economy, but individual citizens can do as much harm when they create a market for counterfeit products by proudly purchasing bargain “knockoffs” that plagiarize and trade on the creativity, energy, financial investment and time investment of the product’s originator.” “To combat such a decline in the American culture,” the Gavins say, “b. dazzle, inc. has joined the “CHARACTER COUNTS!” COALITION of the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles: http://www.charactercounts.org (800-711-2670; 310-846-4800). The purpose of the “CHARACTER COUNTS!” Coalition is to fortify the lives of America’s young people with consensus ethical values called the “Six Pillars of Character.” These six key character values, which transcend divisions of race, creed, politics, gender and wealth, are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Syndicated radio commentator and columnist Michael Josephson founded “CHARACTER COUNTS!” in 1993, which has become the nation’s leading character education system. “CHARACTER COUNTS!” now reaches five million youngsters through the “CHARACTER COUNTS!” Coalition, a widespread partnership of schools and youth-serving organizations. Two United States’ Presidents, the Congress, most states and countless municipalities have endorsed the Coalition’s approach and declared the third week in October “National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week.” The Coalition works to overcome the false but surprisingly powerful notions that no single value is intrinsically right or superior to another; that ethical values vary by race, class, gender, politics and expediency, in other words, the increasingly popular notion that greed and fairness, cheating and honesty carry the same moral weight, simply depending on one’s perspective and immediate needs. The Coalition and b. dazzle, inc. believe that this increasingly popular belief leads to a decline of the American Culture. Effective character education maintains that ethical values must be ranked above expedience, personal preference and self-interest. Character education utilizes objective criteria of virtue and encourages young people to adopt them as ground rules for life. The Coalition strives to build a consensus that there are values that clearly define us at our best, however diverse our views and backgrounds might be.
The Coalition both builds awareness of these consensus virtuous values and teaches them to our youth in support of the paramount role of parents. The “CHARACTER COUNTS!” Coalition is made up of schools, youth-service groups and other nonprofit organizations, as well as communities and local businesses such as b. dazzle, inc.
“ CHARACTER COUNTS!” Coalition Members Make These Commitments:
1. To integrate character education into all programs and encourage families to make choices according to the Six Pillars of Character.
2. To participate in and encourage community involvement in awareness programs.
3. To share ideas for methods and materials that others might use.
4. To publicize local, state and national CHARACTER COUNTS! activities and the impact of character education in their communities.
“We believe that being part of the Coalition means not only to dedicate ourselves personally and as a company to the Six Pillars of Character and to perform as such,” Marshall Gavin explains, “but also to work towards a commitment to these pillars in our society to maintain and, hopefully, improve our culture. We have begun this process ‘at home’ with the trade associations in the industries in which we operate, namely the Toy Industry Association, the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association (ASTRA), the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA), the Museum Store Association (MSA), the National Association of College Stores (NACS), and the Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL).
We have personally participated with several other interested and concerned professionals from these industries, such as Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., aka ‘Dr. Toy, http://www.drtoy.com, in an ad hoc committee which has drafted and presented to these associations a comprehensive code of ethics document for adoption and enforcement, because these trade associations serve as important institutions, in other words, pillars themselves within these industries and, therefore, in our society.” “We notified our trade associations by fax and by certified letter on March 17, 2005 that we cannot continue to be members of any trade association that has not adopted a code of ethics for its members and the industry that it serves,” says Kathie Gavin. “We sincerely hope and expect,” she adds, that the trade associations within the toy, educational products and museum gift and souvenir industries will each adopt an enforceable code of ethics by December 31, 2005 so that we may continue our memberships in 2006.”
b. dazzle manufactures and distributes the enormously popular Scramble Squares® 9-piece brain teaser puzzles for ages 4 to 104, which are at least as popular with adults, seniors, teenagers and college students as they are with children. Although each Scramble Squares® puzzle has only nine 4” x 4” pieces, Scramble Squares® puzzles are Perhaps the World’s Most Challenging Puzzle™! At under $10.00 retail, Scramble Squares® puzzles make inexpensive, but highly entertaining and valued gifts for both men and women alike… for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, get well, graduation, travel and holidays. Scramble Squares® puzzles are Easy To Play, But Hard To Solve!™ Over 100 exquisite puzzle styles are available on nature, sports, history, culture, geography, science, technology, occupations, gourmet, fantasy, hobbies and activities, and more new styles are added every six months. Store displays come complete with the unique Scramble Squares® “5-MINUTE CHALLENGE™” in store free puzzle giveaway promotion! The suggested retail price for a Scramble Squares® puzzle is $7.95 each. Each Scramble Squares® puzzle package includes a panel of fascinating factual information on the subject of the puzzle, as well as a trivia question and hidden answer, all packaged in a unique and handy heavy duty 101/2″ long x 53/4″ wide x 3/8″ deep resealable vinyl travel pouch, which may be collected and stored easily in a standard 3-ring binder. The vinyl pouch is crystal clear, enabling the consumer to see the extraordinary beauty of the puzzles’ realistic original art, while achieving a very high amount of retail value per square foot of store space for the merchant.
Scramble Squares® 9-piece brain teaser puzzles have been honored in 2004 by The Institute for Childhood Resources in San Francisco as “Dr. Toy’s SMART PLAY/SMART TOYS, the Best Smart Products for Baby to Older Children” and as among “Dr. Toy’s 10 BEST SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTS” for 2004. Scramble Squares® received 10 of the 79 total “Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys” awards bestowed by the Institute in 2004! 2004 is the third consecutive year that Scramble Squares® puzzles were honored as being among Dr. Toy’s “100 BEST CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS. The GREAT AMERICAN TOY TEST, for its 25th Anniversary Awards, named 5 Scramble Squares® puzzles as among the best products for 2004 in its “Games & Puzzles” category, more awards than received by any other company. Scramble Squares® puzzles were awarded the “Chicago’s Choice Awards for 2004,” presented during the January Chicago Gift & Home Market to acknowledge distinctive gift products and product lines exhibited at the Chicago Gift & Home Market. In 2003, the Institute for Childhood Resources honored Scramble Squares® as one of Dr. Toy’s “10 BEST EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS FOR 2003” and among Dr. Toy’s “100 BEST CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS FOR 2003.” Scramble Squares® puzzles were awarded the 2002 National Parenting Publications Awards HONOR AWARD for Children’s Resources and Parenting Resources. GAMES magazine’s “100 BEST GAMES RATED” buyers guide issue has rated Scramble Squares® as among the TOP 100 GAMES available for all ages. Learning magazine has selected Scramble Squares® as The Best Product in the Games category. In 1996, Learning magazine selected Scramble Squares® as The Best Educational Game in its “Product Picks for Math.”
Scramble Squares® teaches:
o Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Skills
o Patience o Perseverance o Statistical Probabilities
o Cooperative and Solitary Productivity
Scramble Squares® also helps maintain mental agility, sharpness and memory in seniors and adults, while providing hours of quiet and stimulating entertainment.
b. dazzle provides a free 24″ x 36″ full color “WIN A FREE PUZZLE” promotional poster to any store offering its customers the Scramble Squares® “5–MINUTE CHALLENGE.™” Retailers can give a free Scramble Squares® puzzle to any customer who accepts the challenge and successfully solves the nine piece Scramble Squares® demonstration puzzle within five minutes. b. dazzle promptly replaces the stores’ puzzles awarded to consumers at no cost to the merchants. b. dazzle’s permanent wood counter, floor and slat wall displays each feature a demonstration puzzle on an interactive playing surface with an electronic timer to time consumers in the 5–MINUTE CHALLENGE.™ b. dazzle also offers a free, very compact, corrugated counter spinner display, including the timer and poster, with the purchase of any 72 Scramble Squares® puzzles in any quantity per style. “Our company’s mission is to produce a wide range of beautiful, wholesome, entertaining and informative gifts for under $10.00 retail for all ages of adults and children that can be selected by style to appeal to the personal interests of the recipient ,” says b. dazzle founder, puzzle designer, president & CEO, Kathie Gavin.