MILKING SUCCESS: Athlete, mascot star in local commercial



November 8, 2011 - 12:00 AM

“Maybe it would rather have strawberry-flavored milk,” said Eddie Kennison, as he tried to feed a young calf.
Whatever its preference, the calf from Strickler Dairy could not be manhandled by the former receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kennison and Dan Meers, who masquerades as KC Wolf, were at Strickler Dairy to film segments for a “Fuel Up to Play 60” promotional geared to incentivize youths to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise.
On set, Kennison and Meers gingerly rode on a tractor as well as participated in the feeding exercise.
Kennison’s remark about strawberry milk pleased Steve Strickler, owner of the dairy.
“That’s my favorite, too,” he said. “Of everything there is to drink, I’d rather have strawberry milk than anything else.”
“Fuel Up to Play 60” is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and National Football League in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program is provided regionally by the Midwest Dairy Council, of which Strickler is a board member.
The program is designed “to combat childhood obesity,” with the admonition “to eat healthy, get active, and make a difference.”
“The dairy council wants to get kids off their duffs, and we thought teaming up with the NFL was a good way to get kids’ attention,” he said.

HAVING KC Wolf and Kennison as area spokesmen draws attention to the program, Strickler added.
KC Wolf speaks frequently before school children and has been in Iola for Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) graduations, as recently as last spring.
In his 22nd year as the Chief’s mascot, Meers recalled the Bowlus Fine Arts Center and working with Mike Ford, Iola police officer who directs Iola DARE activities.
Kennison, a wide receiver, was the 18th pick in the first round of the 1996 draft out of Louisiana State University, where he was a football and track star. He played for the Chiefs from 2002 to 2006 where he averaged 59 receptions and nearly 1,000 yards a season.
Meers is “a terrific spokesman for the program,” Strickler said, in that he connects well with kids.

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