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Guitars and superstars align to aid childhood food allergies

A custom-built, one-of-a-kind strawberry-themed “Musical Harvest” guitar will be auctioned on Facebook by Colorful Harvest to raise awareness of childhood food allergies.

The unique guitar has been signed by country music superstar Trace Adkins, whose daughter suffers from severe food allergies. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network to support its programs and services in food-allergy awareness, advocacy, education and research.

Bidding for the strawberry guitar signed by Trace Adkins will begin Oct. 15, the opening day of the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, and will close at midnight P.S.T. on Oct. 28. For auction details and a chance to bid, visit www.facebook.com/colorfulharvest.

At this year’s Fresh Summit in Atlanta, Colorful Harvest will display the guitar at Booth 953, a space dedicated exclusively to promoting the fundraising auction. Visitors to the booth who place a bid during Fresh Summit will receive a $100 “Bid Buck” as a credit toward the winning bid.

Doug Ranno, chief operating officer of Colorful Harvest, said, “Our goal is to help the 12 million Americans who suffer from food allergies by supporting FAAN and by encouraging the food and restaurant industry to develop allergy-friendly menu options and allergy-safe food-handling practices.”

He continued, “When I started Colorful Harvest, the goal was to grow amazing products for taste, color and nutrition. Along the way, my daughter was born with a triad of serious ailments [eczema, asthma and food allergies]. It was her severe food allergies that triggered her other problems and restricted her nutritional choices. That was my motivation to develop a family of unusually colorful, natural heirloom-style vegetables and fruits to offer her greater nutritional diversity and strengthen her immune system. She is my inspiration to help other childhood food-allergy sufferers.”

Mr. Ranno is also a novice country music song writer and custom-guitar designer. His Musical Harvest creations include a red corn guitar, a blackberry guitar and a tri-colored cauliflower guitar to name a few. But his most well-known creation is the strawberry guitar. Several of his strawberry guitars have been auctioned to support everything from scholarship funds to programs that aid the rural poor. The strawberry guitar’s country music roots were well established when the popular trio Lady Antebellum played one on stage in 2010 (available for viewing at www.MusicalHarvest.com ).

A strawberry guitar was also presented to Trace Adkins at the 2010 Florida Strawberry Festival as a gift for his work in building awareness of food allergies through FAAN. Additionally, Mr. Adkins signed several Musical Harvest guitars at a recent event in California.

“Trace Adkins is not only a great country music entertainer, he is a true superstar when it comes to lending his name to make things better for others. The autographed strawberry guitar signed by Trace Adkins will create lots of on-line bidding activity and should be a very good means of raising funds for this worthy cause,” Mr. Ranno said.