I am in Beijing for the launch of the Love Foundation and the release of the Chinese edition of the 60th Anniversary Peanuts book.
Raymond Mok and his wife, Connie, own RM Enterprises, our agent in Asia. The two of them have been working for many months to create a foundation to mobilize Peanuts licensees in China and elsewhere to present annual fundraising events. Snoopy, of course, will be a part of these events, and the money raised will help children and the elderly in the areas outside big cities where facilities are scarce.
Raymond explained to us that in some rural schools the children do not have desks; they must stand at tables to do their writing. The Moks have named this organization the Love Foundation, which seems appropriate as we know that Snoopy does engender love and affection.
In China, charitable organizations must have the approval of the central government, and this is what Raymond and Connie have been working on for months, going on years. They presented their ideas to United Media in New York and to Creative Associates in Santa Rosa for approval. Liz Brinkley, from United Media in New York is representing them. I, of course, represent Sparky (Charles Schulz).
So on April 23, Raymond Mok, Liz Brinkley, and I will be greeted by Madam He Luli, Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee, to kick off the foundation. Madam He Luli is a medical doctor with a long and distinguished resume, including steering many charitable works. Also traveling to Beijing from United Media in New York is Melissa Menta, Vice President of Marketing. The following day there will be a press conference announcing the launch of the Chinese Edition of the Peanuts 60th Anniversary book.
The Moks believe it is very important that the Chinese learn about Peanuts through the comic strip itself, and therefore the books displaying these strips are very important. I saw Peanuts in the English edition of China Daily, but I am guessing that it is not in any Chinese language papers. The government is interested in having citizens learn foreign languages, so the books remain in English with the Chinese characters written underneath.
This 60th Anniversary book is uniquely suited for learning about Peanuts. In addition to being divided by decade (we chose strips and story lines that we thought best represented each decade), the book has many quotes from Sparky as well as short facts about when new characters entered the scene or when a significant change occured.
My daughter Lisa has joined me on this trip, so it makes it an especially celebratory occasion for me.
Before working we did a little sight seeing in and around Beijing. . .
We also made time for some store visits. . .