COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Science experiments, games and learning how to strike a pose from the Ohio State University mascot himself all while raising funds for cancer research.
Development Officer for The James Cancer Hospital Karl Koon said this is the goal of the first-ever Pose for Pelotonia event hosted by one of the university’s 72 Pelotonia teams.
“We’re raising probably upwards of $2,000 toward Pelotonia,” Koon said. “So it was really like, ‘What do we have that is unique to Ohio State that would really grab an audience and bring them in?’”
Creating a kids camp with Brutus the Buckeye was the answer and it’s a unique one, said Head Mascot Coach Raymond Sharp.
“To get him out in the community and be able to give back in this way in a monetary sense,” Sharp said. “It’s really special and we’re just hoping that this is only the beginning and we can continue to grow this and make it bigger than it was this year.”
The event was created last year but postponed because of the pandemic.
“At the time there weren’t vaccinations available for children, and so we had to delay until this year,” Koon said.
Raising funds for cancer research is something that hits close to home for mascots and cheer alumni.
“We had a couple of members who were diagnosed so our society came together to bring us into the Pelotonia family,” Koon said.
The event is a week before the big season opener between the Buckeyes and Notre Dame, which some families may not be able to experience, giving another reason to show up to the fundraiser at French Fieldhouse.
“There’s so many families that may not have access to football game tickets, for whatever reasons,” Koon said. “This is a great way for them to engage in Ohio States’ great traditions of cheer and Brutus and the stadium, and all of those things. So it really was intentionally designed to be as inclusive as possible.”
An experience valued by these kids’ parents.
“We love getting the one-on-one time with Brutus and it’s hard to get that on game days or any other times so it’s really nice for him to get that time with his idols,” one of the parents, Abigail Adams, said.
Koon said the event will be back next year and they’re hoping it will be even bigger.