New Hope for Kids hosts the 21st annual Mascot Games at 12:30 p.m. Friday, July 25 and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at the Amway Center in Orlando.
A Mascot Games press conference and party, emceed by the humorous Scotty B, was the night before the Games at the new New Hope for Kids facility in Maitland, near Orlando.
Following a dinner for the families, David Joswick, executive director of New Hope for Kids, gave the opening address to jumpstart the festivities. After the comedic press conference, mascots signed autographs, posed for photos and provided some mascot zaniness to the delight of the crowd.
Participating mascots included Sebastian the Ibis from the University of Miami, Stuff the Magic Dragon from the Orlando Magic, Albert and Alberta from the University of Florida, Lil Red from the University of Nebraska and Billy the Marlin from the Miami Marlins.
Billy replaced Burnie the Miami Heat mascot, who is still recovering from the news of LeBron James leaving Miami for Cleveland. Moondog, the mascot of the Cavaliers, will participate. Probably a good idea right now to keep Burnie and Moondog apart.
The Mascot Games feature mascots from sports teams across North America competing in a variety of games. Fans of all ages will enjoy thrilling and pulse-pounding competition, as mascots from MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA battle through gladiator-themed games to determine the true champions of the mascot world.
All proceeds from the Mascot Games benefit New Hope for Kids, which provides support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one, and grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida. The worthwhile organization formed in 1996.
Tickets are on sale.
General admission tickets start at $12 and can be purchased through amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000 or at Ticketmaster.com.
On Saturday only, all-access tickets – which include a Mascot meet and greet and reserved seating – are available for $25, and reserved seating is available for $20. Group seating for Summer Camps is available by downloading a form from the Mascot Games website at www.mascotgames.org under the “Summer Camps” tab.
Since 1996, New Hope for Kids has been helping Central Florida children in need. It brings hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses. Find out about New Hope for Kids by visiting www.newhopeforkids.org.