Students behind the success of Mascot BowlOct 04, 2021 12:00PM ● By Jet Burnham
Mascots signed autographs, posed for photos and gave high-fives to fans. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
The Mascot Bowl, hosted by Herriman High School Sept. 13, successfully raised over $20,000 to fund Christmas shopping for local disadvantaged children. In partnership with the Mascot Miracle, HHS’s own students helped organize and run the community event.
“We had over 40 students from different leadership groups that helped,” HHS student government adviser Mike Wilkey said. “They all stepped up pretty big and that's what made things run so smoothly.”
Students have been planning the event for months. Student government officers solicited donations from local businesses, arranged for 16 local food trucks and coordinated a silent auction. They provided game support, security, and parking assistance. Members of Peer Leadership Team and Hope Squad hosted lawn games, face painting, and refreshment booths. Herriman High’s chamber choir, ballroom team, drill team, cheer squad and dance company all provided entertainment.
Wilkey said it was a great learning opportunity for the students to arrange a fundraising event that was fun for students and families.
“It helps them see all the planning and work that goes into a large-scale event, which I think is a really good experience for them,” Wilkey said.
Students were happy to be involved.
“It's special,” senior Roxy Quealy said. “It's really stressful--definitely--but it's pretty cool being part of it.”
The Mascot Bowl has always been planned and executed by high school students. For the first 17 years, students from the sports marketing class at Lehi High School promoted, organized, and oversaw the event. This was Herriman High School’s second time hosting the Mascot Bowl.
Jon Absey, the original Jazz Bear, who originated the Mascot Bowl, said high school students bring creative problem-solving and youthful enthusiasm to the event.
“It's nice to have that energy that they have,” he said. “And it's fun to see them get excited about it.”
Absey chose to move the event from Lehi High to Herriman High, where his kids attend, two years ago, when the original sports marketing teacher retired.
“Heriman is a pretty tight knit community so I thought it would benefit and hopefully grow and people would start supporting it,” Absey said. It did grow, and this year’s proceeds were double the amount the bowl earned two years ago.
“The cool thing about it is that the kids get to put on this event,” Absey said. “They learn how to do an event, they learn about everything that goes into it. And then in December, we take underprivileged kids Christmas shopping and the students are the ones who get to take them. So they get to see the fruits of their labor go towards charity, and they get to be involved in that as well.”
Peer Leadership Team President Kami Mitchell said she is looking forward to being a chaperone when the Fireman and Friends for Kids volunteers take the kids shopping. Because this year’s event earned more money than the previous Mascot Bowl two years ago, she said they’ll be able to help more kids this year.
The main event was HHS’s eighth grade football team playing against a team of local and national mascots from the NBA, NFL, and NHL. The well-padded mascots (primarily on their heads) pounced, swooped, dived and stampeded their way to victory.
Community members enjoyed watching the mascots’ crazy antics. The mascots also made time to interact with the fans-- signing autographs, posing for photos and freely giving high-fives and hugs.
The night ended with a concert by Charlie Jenkins and a spectacular fireworks show donated by Eric Farnsworth of Pyro Crate.
“That was the best firework show that we've had,” Absey said. “Charlie Jenkins playing “God Bless America” while fireworks were going off was amazing!”