IMAGEN Brands, parent company of suppliers Crown Products (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197), is celebrating in a unique way the memory of Francis “Fran” Ford, Jr., CAS, president of supplier Castelli, a division of Magnet, LLC, and 2015 PPAI Hall of Fame inductee, who passed away in May 2018—with a teddy bear. Ford was known for his memorable greeting, “Hey buddy!” In remembrance of Ford’s impact on the industry, the Hey Buddy Bear was born, and with every bear sold, IMAGEN Brands will donate to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF).

The Hey Buddy Bear was designed with hearts on its paws and “Hey Buddy” imprinted t-shirt, and comes with a hang tag with an image of Ford and a special message. The Hey Buddy Bear will make its grand debut at shows this month.

“Hey Buddy Bear was inspired by a very special friend, Fran Ford,” says Paul Lage, MAS, president of IMAGEN Brands. “He is someone that has touched so many of us. He gave you that ‘teddy bear’ feeling of being your best friend, someone you could always talk to, and gave you that warm comfort as you traveled through life. We all seem to get more than we ever gave. That’s why we are donating some of the proceeds back to the Promotional Products Education Foundations to help others in need. We hope Hey Buddy Bear touches others who may have a Fran Ford person in their lives.”