Sam The Minuteman Pitches In For Holiday Cause
Dec. 15, 2005
BOSTON, Mass. - Taking time out from a Mascot of the Year contest that even experts describe as "too close to call," Sam the Minuteman made an appearance today at Downtown Crossing to help raise holiday-season funds for the Salvation Army.
"Sam," who was featured this week on "The Today Show," is one of two finalists in the fourth annual "Capital One Mascot of the Year" competition. Of the original 12 college and university mascots in the contest, "Sam" and "Herbie Husker," representing the University of Nebraska, are the two remaining contenders for the national title.
Officially endorsing "Sam's" candidacy, UMass President Jack M. Wilson said: "I have nothing but the highest level of respect and regard for Herbie Husker and the University of Nebraska, but I would urge the University's students, alumni and friends to vote for Sam the Minuteman. Vote early and vote often, as a matter of fact. It was the Minuteman who gave us our freedom and helped to create our nation. Electing him the Mascot of the Year seems like the least we can do."
Mascot of the Year balloting is being conducted online at several locations, including www.UMassAthletics.com Fans can vote once a day until the competition closes on December 19. The winner will be announced on Jan. 2, 2006, at the Capitol One Bowl.
The University of Massachusetts mascot program received $5,000 when "Sam" qualified for the All-America Mascot Team. The 12 mascots have gone through several rounds of elimination and if "Sam" is the ultimate winner, he will earn an additional $5,000 for the University.
The Minuteman mascot has been featured in several commercials shown nationally on ESPN and ABC and has appeared on "The Wheel of Fortune."
Salvation Army funds collected during the holiday season are used for a variety of purposes in the Boston area, including: programs for children, providing food for families and heating assistance during the winter.