Fin the Whale of the NHL Vancouver Canucks is a Mascot Games veteran, traveling from Vancouver to Orlando (2,600-plus miles) once again, quite the trek.
Fin answers some questions via email (as mascots can not talk) in preparation for the 23rd Annual Mascot Games, presented by Wawa. Hosted by New Hope for Kids, the fun-filled event is returning to the Amway Center in June for two shows – 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 17 and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18 – in Orlando.
How many Mascot Games is this for you?
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Fin: “This will be lucky #13 for me. My first Games were in 2003, and I have not missed a year with the exception of the year they did not have them (2013 I believe).”
What do you think about the Mascot Games?
Fin: “I think it is a great opportunity to support a great cause like New Hope For Kids as well as give fans an opportunity to see some professional sports mascots and a few college mascots. Love hanging out with mascots I have befriended over the years and meeting new ones.”
What is it like traveling all the way from Vancouver (the farthest) and is there any swimming involved?
Fin: “Whale...it is def a long way, and I appreciate New Hope for always inviting me - a true honor. Yes some swimming is involved, and I always use Free Willy as an inspiration to make that leap from over that thin island from the Pacific into the Caribbean ;-).”
If you are a team captain again, is there anyone in the draft you have your fin on?
Fin: “Hmm hopefully I am captaining the Blue team, and I always like getting an NHL mascot on my team. Not sure I will take Thunderbug, though. He is going to be tired. A lot of playoff hockey for that insect.”
Note: Blue is the color of the Vancouver Canucks, and Thunderbug’s Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Eastern Conference finals of the NHL playoffs.
Who are some of the mascots to keep a fin on?
Fin: “All of them really. The veteran Mascot Game mascots have the experience, and then you never know what you are getting with the newbies.”
Who are your toughest competitors?
Fin: “Stuff has home field advantage; so he is always formidable. Sebastian from The U is a savvy veteran, too. And you can never be to relaxed around those Gators -- Albert and Alberta.”
Note: Stuff of the NBA Orlando Magic is the mascot host.
Is this the type of event that even rival NHL mascots come together to out-do the other sports mascots, proving the NHL mascots are the best mascots?
Fin: “We are deFINitely a tight group for sure, and we always like to put on a good show and give 110-percent.”
Does it seem most of the portly outfits are designed for MLB mascots?
Fin: “Welllll there are a few who have a little more junk in the trunk and carrying that ONE pack, but they have fun with it and use to their advantage.”
Fin is truly the best, and the Mascot Games are a lot of fun. Kids, adults, everyone has a good time.
About the Mascot Games
The Mascot Games is returning to the Amway Center in June for two entertaining shows – 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 17 and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18 – in Orlando.
Hosted by New Hope for Kids, the 23rd annual event is presented by Wawa, the prominent convenience retail store chain now with 85 locations in Central Florida.
“The Mascot Games Presented by Wawa truly is one of Central Florida’s most unique and entertaining family events and annually raises valuable profile and funds for New Hope for Kids,” said David Joswick, Executive Director of New Hope for Kids. “We could not have such a tremendous impact without our sponsors, and we would like to sincerely thank Wawa for their continuing sponsorship this year.”
All proceeds from the Mascot Games Presented by Wawa 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.
Twenty-four of the best and most popular mascots from across North America will join Orlando Magic’s STUFF, the event’s host mascot and recently honored as one of the best mascots in sports, for the annual competition.
Mascots from MLB, NFL, MLS, NBA, NHL, and NCAA will be divided into four teams as they compete against each other in wild and zany games to determine the true champions of the mascot world.
The participating mascots will be introduced through the Mascot Games social media channels.
Follow along on
and Instagram @Mascot_Games.
Participating mascots include:
Albert and Alberta - NCAA University of Florida
Baxter the Bobcat - MLB Arizona Diamondbacks
Captain Fear - NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carlton - NHL Toronto Maple Leafs
Champ - NBA Dallas Mavericks
Chomps - NFL Cleveland Browns
Franklin the Dog - NBA Philadelphia 76ers
Fin - NHL Vancouver Canucks
Howler Coyote - NHL Arizona Coyotes
Jaxson De Ville - NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
Kingston - MLS Orlando City Soccer Club
Knightro - NCAA University of Central Florida
Lil Red - NCAA University of Nebraska
Louie - NHL St. Louis Blues
NJ Devil - NHL New Jersey Devils
Rowdy - NFL Dallas Cowboys
Rumble the Bison - NBA Oklahoma City Thunder
Sebastian the Ibis - NCAA University of Miami
Shades - ECHL Orlando Solar Bears
Stanley C. Panther - Florida Panthers
Stuff the Magic Dragon - NBA Orlando Magic
Thunderbug - NHL Tampa Bay Lightning
Tommy Hawk - NHL Chicago Blackhawks
Since its inception, the Mascot Games, presented by Wawa, has raised more than $400,000 for New Hope for Kids.
Tickets for the Mascot Games are now 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 (June 18) only, a limited number of VIP “Mascot Huddle” tickets, which include a Mascot meet and greet and reserved seating, are available for $35. Reserved seating is available for $20. Group seating for Summer Camps is available by downloading a form from the event website at www.mascotgames.org under the “Summer Camps” tab.
Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available. Companies interested in sponsoring the event, highlighting their brand to more than 15,000 Central Florida residents, can contact Ron Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About New Hope for Kids
Celebrating 20 years of hope and healing, New Hope for Kids has been helping Central Florida children in need. Its purpose is to bring hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses.
New Hope for Kids achieves this through two programs: The Center for Grieving Children helps children and families cope with the feelings of grief and loss after the death of a loved one. Wishes for Kids grants wishes to children up to the age 18, diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
For more information visit www.newhopeforkids.org.