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 CLEVELAND, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Sweetest Day, observed Oct. 16 this year, is always celebrated on the third Saturday in October. The annual observance was founded in 1922 by Herbert Birch Kingston, a philanthropist and candy company employee from Cleveland.
 Kingston's goal was to bring happiness into the lives of orphans, shut-ins and other forgotten members of society. With the help of others, he began to distribute candy and small gifts to the underprivileged.
 On the first Sweetest Day, movie star Ann Pennington presented 2,200 Cleveland newspaper boys with boxes of candy to express gratitude for their service to the public. Another silver screen idol, Theda Bara, gave boxes of candy to all who came to watch her film in a local theater. After the movie, she distributed 10,000 boxes of candy to patients in Cleveland-area hospitals.
 Today, the holiday is a time to remember not only sweethearts, but anyone who has been exceptionally helpful and kind. According to Terry Kovach of American Greetings Corporation's seasonal product management group, Sweetest Day cards are offered for friends, sweethearts, parents and other family members.
 "About two million Sweetest Day cards are exchanged annually," Kovach said. "Sweetest Day is primarily celebrated in the Northeast and Great Lakes states, but as people move to other areas of the country, they often carry the Sweetest Day tradition with them."
 Headquartered in Cleveland, American Greetings is the world's largest publicly owned manufacturer of greeting cards and social expression products. Annual revenues exceed $1.7 billion. American Greetings products can be found in leading retail outlets worldwide.
 -0- 10/7/93
 /CONTACT: Laurie Henrichsen, marketing/public relations coordinator, American Greetings, 216-252-4943/

CO: American Greetings Corporation ST: Ohio IN: HOU SU:

AR-KL -- CLFNS2 -- 9592 10/07/93 07:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 7, 1993

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