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ARD to decide new mascot

Aardvark or native animal?
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Two camps are divided over what the new Auburn Recreation and Parks District mascot should be, but unified their desire to vote in a furry new friend for Auburn. District officials say some locals are in favor of an aardvark, while others would prefer to see an animal native to Auburn be selected. “It’s coming up at the Jan. 26 board of directors meeting at 6 p.m. It’s (also) going to be on the policy committee agenda at 8:15 a.m.,” said Kahl Muscott, Auburn Recreation and Parks District Administrator. “It falls into two camps — either an aardvark or a native animal.” Scott Holbrook, a member of the Auburn Recreation and Parks District Board of Directors, believes the aardvark would be the most fun and kid-friendly choice. Holbrook created the concept and said he thinks kids would catch on. “Fun, fun, fun is the key,” Holbrook said. “It’s sure my strongest. Kids will come up and get a hug or a smile. You’ll create a little excitement and fun for the district. It’s hard to say aardvark without smiling.” Holbrook said he is looking forward to the mascot appearing all over town, but said many animals native to Auburn may not be as entertaining as an aardvark. He said he is looking forward to hearing public opinions at the meeting. Julie Clagett, of Auburn, submitted several ideas for the mascot. She said she doesn’t normally get involved in things like this, but thought it would be fun. Several Internet searches later she came up with her top picks. Clagett even found and priced costumes “It should not be an aardvark because we don’t have aardvarks in Auburn,” Clagett said. A couple of her suggestions were Ardy the Squirrel and Ardy the Skunk. “It could be Ardy the squirrely and ‘Go nuts for ARD,” Clagett said. “Or Ardy the Skunk, ‘It would stink if you didn’t go to ARD.’” Clagett said the mascot idea is a great marketing tool. “I think it’s actually a smart idea,” Clagett said. “I told them if they pick mine, I would wear the costume, part-time, not full-time.” Clagett said she could see the mascot going into retirement home and mobile home parks to raise awareness about programs for senior offered through the parks and recreation district. “I usually go to events, but don’t get involved. For whatever reason it just struck a chord with me,” Clagett said. “Ardy can go to a lot of different events. Can you imagine Ardy at Cruise Nite?” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.