Buddy to Share Personal Story of Loss and Struggle to Raise Awareness of the Need to Protect Loved Ones With Life Insurance

Arlington, Va. – July 9, 2012 – If you tune into an episode of “Cake Boss,” you’ll see Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bake Shop, orchestrating confectionary masterpieces and having fun while doing it. Good fortune seems to have parked at Buddy’s doorstep. But before the success came a tough road that he had to travel, which is something he’ll be talking about in his new role as the national spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month this September.

The nonprofit LIFE Foundation coordinates the industry-wide campaign in response to concern about the growing number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. Today, 95 million adult Americans have no life insurance coverage and most with coverage have less than most insurance experts recommend.

Buddy Valastro’s Life Insurance Story
Growing up, Buddy’s dream was to work alongside his father and help make the family bakery a household name. But on his 17th birthday everything changed when his father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died just three weeks later at the age of 54. Buddy lost his best friend and mentor, and the family lost its breadwinner. To keep the business afloat, Buddy dropped out of high school and worked 12- to 18-hour days, six days a week. The situation was made more challenging by the fact that Buddy’s father did not have life insurance.

“Taking over the family business at such a young age and having 30 employees depending on me was a huge amount of pressure, and there were many days I didn’t think I could pull it off,” said Buddy. “If there had been life insurance, I know things would have been a lot easier. I could have hired more people, worried less and had time to grieve.”

Buddy learned almost everything he knows about baking from his father, and those lessons have helped make Carlo’s Bake Shop a household name today. However, he also learned from his father’s mistakes. Buddy is a meticulous planner and leaves nothing to chance. If one of his elaborate cakes gets damaged in transit, Buddy has a back-up plan. He has extra sponge cake and sugar flowers on hand to cre¬ate something new, just in case. He feels the same way when it comes to taking care of his wife, Lisa, and their four children.

“I bought life insurance as soon as my first child was born, and I’ve made sure to increase that coverage as my family has grown. Now that the business has really taken off, I’ve worked with my insurance advisor to make sure everything I worked hard to create will get passed on to the next generation,” says Buddy. “If people depend on you, you have to protect them with life insurance.”

Buddy’s Story to be Shared in Public Service Announcements
Buddy will share his story in TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs) broadcast nationally beginning later this month and continuing throughout the remainder of the year.

“We’re thrilled to have Buddy serve as the frontman in our effort to get more Americans thinking about the need to protect their loved ones with life insurance, a lesson that he unfortunately had to learn the hard way,” says Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, RFC, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation.

About Life Insurance Awareness Month
Life Insurance Awareness Month was created by the LIFE Foundation in 2004 in response to growing concern about the large number of Americans who lack adequate life insurance protection. Held each September, Life Insurance Awareness Month is an industry-wide effort involving hundreds of leading companies and thousands of insurance advisors. For more information about Life Insurance Awareness Month and LIFE’s plans for the September campaign, contact Jon Dressner at jdressner@lifehappens.org.

About LIFE
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) was founded in 1994 in response to the public’s growing need for information and education on life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role insurance professionals perform in helping families, businesses and individuals find the insurance solutions that best fit their needs. To learn more about these topics, please visit www.lifehappens.org.

Matthew Luzuriaga

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