Funeral Industry News

Wilbert Signs On to Sponsor PBS Program

March 5, 2010

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Wilbert Signs On to Sponsor PBS Program

?The Neon Man and Me? Centers On Bereavement, Loss and Friendship

Wilbert Funeral Services, on behalf of the Wilbert Foundation, has agreed to be a national sponsor for ?The Neon Man and Me?. This award-winning program is set to air later this month on Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television stations throughout the United States.

?The Neon Man and Me? is a one-man show created and produced by storyteller Slash Coleman. The show centers on the untimely death of Coleman?s best friend, who made a living hanging neon signs. It’s an uplifting tale about best friends that explores family, following your heart, and a journey home. In addition, it?s a powerful story that illustrates how everyone can talk openly about their feelings related to bereavement, loss and friendship. Coleman?s intent for creating this performance was to produce something that his friend’s son – conceived just weeks before the electrical accident that claimed his friend?s life – could look to someday to learn about his dad.

The Off-Broadway show has enjoyed four national tours and reviews in The New York Times, The Washington Post, American Theatre Magazine, Backstage Magazine, NPR, and ABC News. The televised version is now set to air beginning March 21, 2010.

?The Neon Man and Me? has helped raise over $80,000 for children?s hospitals, bereavement groups and other non-profits and has grown to include a public school curriculum entitled, ?Healing Community: Helping Students Come to Terms with Tragedy, Loss and Violence,? taught to over 10,000 students so far.

?Given Wilbert?s stature in the funeral profession and the charter of the Wilbert Foundation, making the decision to support this endeavor was quite easy,? stated Wilbert Foundation President Mark Minnick. ?Wilbert is honored to provide support to this program, which reflects our commitment to supporting the funeral profession and also our deep appreciation to all of the men and women who provide support to anyone grieving a loved one?s death.?

The Association for Death and Education Counseling (ADEC) has signed on as another of the national sponsors. The program is expected to air on up to 356 PBS stations nationwide, reaching an estimated 70 million viewers.

Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. is the leading single-source supplier of burial vaults, cremation-related products and memorialization jewelry to North American funeral homes. From its offices in Broadview, the company licenses the right to manufacture burial vaults under the Wilbert trademark to a network of more than 250 licensees, sub-licensees and distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Wilbert Foundation, established in 2002, provides funds and resources for children and families who are coping with the trauma of grief and death. To date, the foundation has distributed more than $500,000 in grants and has funded the curriculum for the most comprehensive training program for pediatric chaplains.

Visit for more information on the Wilbert Foundation.