SeriousFun Children’s Network, founded by Paul Newman, is gearing up for a SeriousFun Messtival benefitting children with serious illness.
On Saturday, June 25, SeriousFun and its partners Newman’s Own, Niagara Water, Hasbro, Kindermusik, The Little Gym and Metro New York, along with additional supporters, are launching the inaugural Messtival event in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York.
“We are incredibly excited to announce the launch of our seriously fun new campaign,” said Mary Beth Powers, CEO of SeriousFun Children’s Network, in a press release. “SeriousFun Messtival is our opportunity to share the magical spirit of SeriousFun camps with families and young people, and help children living with serious illness experience the fun they so deserve—even if the fun gets messy.”
Activities include a mile-long run, a Newman’s Own Barbecue Sauce dunk tank and a dance party featuring tracks from the new SeriousFun album created by Kindermusik—with all proceeds from sales going to SeriousFun.
Featured Hasbro toys and games include Nerf Super Soakers, Nerf Rebelle, Pi Face and Play-Doh brands.
Newman Mess Hall will be set up for blending camp-favorite snacks like Bug Juice, Old Fashioned Roadside Virgin Lemonade, Gorilla Grape, Orange Mango Tango Juice, Trail Mix, Butter Boom Microwave Popcorn, Salted Pretzel Sticks, S’mores Bites, melted Organic Milk Chocolate Bars, Original Newman-O’s cookies and gooey marshmallows.
There are currently 30 camps and programs in SeriousFun Children’s Network, always offered free to children and their families. Philanthropist and actor Newman founded the first camp, The Hole in the Wall Gang, in 1988 and when the campers arrived they found a kid-sized old West setting inspired by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Newman’s 1969 film with Robert Redford.
The camps have since served more than 518,000 children and families across more than 50 countries. Newman’s Own was launched in 1982 and Newman’s Own Foundation has donated more than $460 million to thousands of charities since. “I don’t think there’s anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic,” Newman once said. “It’s the other attitude that confuses me.”
Supporters are asked to share photos and videos on social media with #SeriousFunMesstival, inviting friends to do the same and to make a contribution.
In 2013, brandchannel parent Interbrand was tasked with rebranding the Hole in the Wall Gang for a new generation, iterating the message of “joyful empowerment and the power of play” with a new visual identity to create a cohesive brand.
SeriousFun Children’s Network is the result—click here for a look at that rebranding process.