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Beatles drummer Ringo Starr kicks off fundraising campaign with John Varvatos

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A kickoff event was held Monday at the Capitol Records building here that coincided with Ringo Starr's 74th birthday. The former Beatles drummer revealed that he will be part of fashion designer John Varvatos’ Fall 2014 advertising campaign. As part of the campaign, the designer is donating some of the proceeds to The Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund, which is part of filmmaker David Lynch’s effort to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk groups around the world.

Some 400 fans, friends and media outlets from around the world were on hand for the noontime event, which included a chorus of “Happy Birthday” from the attendees to Ringo, a group shoutout to “peace and love” and brief remarks by Ringo, Varvatos and Lynch explaining the initiative.

The musician, dressed in all black, his shirt bedazzled in crystals forming a peace sign and wearing colorful tennis shoes, was presented with a cake. In return, the veteran performer, who is on tour with his All Starr Band, tossed black and white Peace & Love wristbands to very delighted fans.

“John called me to be the male model and I said ‘yes,’” recalled the Liverpool native. “And, through that, we are funding the David Lynch Foundation, which brings meditation to inner city schools, and also helps the vets.”

“He’ll be the face of the John Varvatos Fall/Winter campaign,” added Varvatos, whose designs are favored by many celebrities.

“We’re also working with Ringo on his Peace & Love Fund, together with David Lynch,” he continued. “What we’d really love people to do is snap a picture of themselves with the peace symbol, post it online under #peacerocks, and we’ll give $1 for every one of those posts to Ringo’s Peace & Love Fund.”

“John Varvatos made me a male model, finally,” responded Ringo. “At home, I’ve always been a male model, now I’m out on the streets with it. All I want to tell you is peace and love.”

Looking like a college professor with his shock of white hair and brown dungarees, Lynch took to the stage and said he was pleased his non-profit organization, which brings stress-reducing modalities for at-risk populations suffering from chronic stress and stress-related disorders, would be served by the initiative.

“Ringo Starr is Mr. Peace & Love,” he said. “He doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. He exemplifies peace and love. One of the things he does is support the David Lynch Foundation, so we can give this life transforming transcendental meditation for anyone who wants it in the world.

To kick off the campaign, Ringo and Varvatos took a selfie and posted it on the Twitter account #peacerocks, followed by other pictures with other celebrities attending the event, including Ringo’s wife, actress Barbara Bach and musicians Joe Walsh, Don Was and others.

For each #peacerocks tagged photo, $1 will be donated to the Peace & Love charity through the rest of the year. Additionally, “Peace Shops” will be activated where Varvatos merchandise is sold and 100 percent of the proceeds from a dedicated “peace rocks” t-shirt will be sold to benefit the charity. Also, as part of the initiative, filmmaker Danny Clinch has made a short film about the behind-the-scenes efforts to bring The Peace & Love Fund to fruition.

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