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Aardvark could be new face of Auburn Recreation District

Search for mascot underway
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Area Recreation and Park District is taking its search for a mascot public. Strong contenders suggested at the district’s November board of directors meeting were a bear, a miner and an aardvark. The board is asking the public to share their thoughts and suggestions before they make a decision at the Jan. 26 meeting. Kahl Muscott, district administrator, said the mascot is intended to generate interest in the recreation district and will be used as a marketing tool. “It is something that we have been talking about as part of our in-house marketing strategy for the district. What then spurred it on is I was at a meeting for recreation district administrators,” Muscott said. “The administrator for the City of West Sacramento was talking about their mascot, Mooie, which is a cow. He had some pictures he was sharing of Mooie. Mooie is getting invited to more and more events. That was kind of the spark if you will.” Muscott said once a decision is made on the species of the mascot, the district will purchase a costume and host mascot training for staff. The cost for the mascot costume is approximately $1,000-2,000, according to the recreation district. If specific artwork needs to be created it could cost approximately $500-$2,000. Currently, Muscott said he likes Scott Holbrook’s design of an aardvark because it is unique and features the district’s acronym, ARD, in its name. “I have got to tell you at first as staff we thought a bear because there are bears in the area,” Muscott said. “I did get sold on the aardvark idea. At first I was like, ‘no, no, no.’ Scott Holbrook on our board started pitching around some stuff and I was like, ‘you know what? That’s not bad.’” Holbrook, who is a recreation district board member and also organizes events around town, like Party in the Park, said the mascot would be a fun addition to the Auburn community. He created a graphic rendition of what the aardvark mascot could look like to get the ball rolling. He said while aardvarks have no real connection to the Auburn-area, it would be different than any of the local school mascots. “I’m an incredibly big fan of the aardvark. If you look around the schools, Placer has a miner and the (Bear River) Bruins have a bear,” Holbrook said. “It draws attention. You want something that is going to shine the light on ARD.” The district is asking the public to submit their ideas for a mascot, along with a brief explanation of why their suggestion should be considered, before Jan. 6. If everything stays on schedule, Holbrook said he hopes to have a mascot roving events around Auburn by spring. “ARD really kicks into gear going into spring and summer. If we do go with an aardvark, we want to run with it — include it in our activity guides and advertisements, brand it, market it, sell it, use it. I’m excited about it. I know my kids love Slamson. If you have a good mascot, it just adds to the fun.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com. ______________________________________________________ Have a mascot idea? Submit a nomination for the Auburn Recreation District’s mascot, by Jan. 6, in one of the following ways: Visit the Auburn District Recreation website at www.auburnrec.com. Send an e-mail to Pat Larson at plarson@auburnrec.com Call Pat Larson at (530) 885-0611 ext. 102. Mail your suggestions to 471 Maidu Drive Auburn, CA 95603 Stop by Recreation Park, located at123 Recreation Drive, or the Canyon View Community Center, located at 471 Maidu Drive, and share your suggestions with staff. The Auburn Recreation District recommends that all nominations include a brief statement explaining why your mascot idea should be considered. All suggestions will be reviewed by staff and shared with the board of directors at the Jan. 26 board meeting.