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Florida Citrus Growers launching Legend of Sun Lion tangerines

Two well-known Florida citrus growers are launching a branded tangerine product aimed at getting healthy snacks to children while saving an endangered species.

Lake Wales growers Vic Story and Marty McKenna have created the Legend of Sun Lion Florida Tangerines brand for the 2012-2013 season. The new venture is pledging 10% of company net profits to Florida panther conservation efforts.

“No offense to clementines or Cuties or any other products on the market but Florida growers produce the tastiest tangerines in the world*,” said Vic Story, one of the grower-founders of The Sunshine Story LLC, the company created to market Legend of Sun Lion Florida Tangerines. “We decided it was time to brand a Florida product and get it into consumers’ hands. Couple that with helping protect a sacred symbol of Florida wildlife and it is a win-win.”

The Legend of Sun Lion brand is woven around the tale of Sun Lion, a Florida panther kitten who serves as the product’s mascot. The brand’s high quality graphic packaging and illustrations welcome consumers to partake in an interactive story.

“Whether you're a Florida resident or visitor, it's time to 'Unlock Your Shine!'” said company founder David Gornoski. “Our brand will introduce Sun Lion as a tangible hero families can join: Eat Healthy, Buy Local, Save the Florida Panther.”

"Families are increasingly demanding healthy natural foods, local produce, conservation, and causes worth fighting for,” Gornoski continued. “Legend of Sun Lion satisfies those needs intuitively. With our story driven campaign and taste quality, we offer a unique family entertainment experience."

“We really believe this product is something families can buy into,” Marty McKenna added. “Not only can they feel good about feeding their children tasty, healthy snacks, but they can also take pride in protecting the environment. That’s the story we are telling with the LEGEND OF SUN LION brand.” The company's initial focus is tangerines but will incorporate other fresh Florida citrus over time.

The Florida panther, the official animal of the state of Florida, is one of the world's most endangered mammals—less than 200 remain in the wild according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Sunshine Story LLC is dedicated to spreading awareness and protection of this treasured big cat of Florida. 10% of the company’s net profits will go to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida's panther fund.

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