J.R. Kuykendall wins $1,000 and a years' supply of Dum Dum Pops® for his kind deeds.
Bryan, OH - October 30, 2006: J.R. "Kirk" Kuykendall has been more than a barber for 47 years. The 75-year-old Stuarts Draft, Virginia man is a beloved part of his community for both young and old. Now his kindness brings him sweet rewards.
Kirk is a winner in Dum Dum Pops® "Make Life a Little Sweeter" contest. In honor of Spangler Candy Company's 100th anniversary this year, the maker of Dum Dum Pops conducted a national search for the people who make life better for others through the little things they do. Kirk's Barber Shop has been a center of kindness in his small community, winning him $1,000 and a case of Dum Dum Pops.
Connie Kuykendall nominated her dad because, "He's just a loving, generous man who does little things that really add up." Connie explained that often Kirk has a line outside his door when he arrives to work at 7:00 a.m. Although he is getting older himself, on his days off he offers free haircuts and a little cheer to nursing home residents, many of whom have been his loyal customers for years.
Kirk also has a special place in his heart for law enforcement officers, as he is a former Army military policeman. He gives many Virginia State Troopers and county deputies their favorite crop, and he asks them to bring him badges to display in his shop.
Kirk said, "I have about 600 badges from around the country, and one even from China." Hats and little police cars are also on display. Kirk jokes with the officers, "Just give me the badges, not the tickets."
For the young and old who enter Kirk's shop, it's only Dum Dum Pops that will do. "He likes them for all the flavors, and the kids and grown-ups love to get a lollipop from the drawer when they're done," Connie said. Kirk was as happy to receive the case of Dum Dum Pops as he was to win the cash prize. "It means more lollipops for the kids," he said.
"Kirk is exactly the inspiration we were hoping to find as we searched for the sweetest people in America," said Diana Moore Eschhofen, Spangler Candy's Brand and Public Relations manager. "He's a hometown hero just for being the kind person that he is, and we are proud to recognize him for this."
Kirk's advice for others is simple: "Treat people like you want to be treated, and all the kindness will come back to you."
About Spangler Candy Company
In business since 1906, Spangler Candy Company makes about 8 million Dum Dum Pops® a day and more candy canes than anyone in the world. Spangler Candy's line of quality confections includes Dum Dum Pops® , Saf-T-Pops® , Circus Peanuts and Marshmallow Treats, Spangler® Candy Canes and Cane Classics®, Dum Dum® Candy Canes, Jelly Belly® Candy Canes, and Valentine, Easter, Halloween & Christmas candies. Spangler also manufactures candy under the Disney® license.
For information, contact Spangler Candy Company at 1-888-636-4221, or visit our websites: www.spanglercandy.com, www.dumdumpops.com, and www.saftpops.com.
Jelly Belly® is a registered trademark of Jelly Belly Candy Company.