Youth Sports

Sebastian the Ibis, fun at Wawa Mascot Games in Orlando to benefit New Hope for Kids

Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami represented the Wawa Yellow Team during the Mascot Games last year. The Mascot Games, presented by Wawa and benefiting New Hope for Kids, returns to the Amway Center on June 19 and 20 in Orlando.
Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami represented the Wawa Yellow Team during the Mascot Games last year. The Mascot Games, presented by Wawa and benefiting New Hope for Kids, returns to the Amway Center on June 19 and 20 in Orlando. Photo By Jim Varsallone

The 22nd Mascot Games, presented by Wawa, is returning to the Amway Center in June for two entertaining shows – 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 19 and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 20 – in Orlando.

Hosted by New Hope for Kids, the Mascot Games features mascots from pro and college sports teams, participating in fun, team competitions. This year’s event will be presented by Wawa, the prominent convenience retail store chain with 56 locations in Central Florida, and Sebastian the Ibis from The U (the University of Miami) will once again be there.

“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 presenting 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 also grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida.

“Community events like the Mascot Games are a true asset for the City Beautiful,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We are proud to partner with outstanding local organizations, such as New Hope for Kids, to bring the community to the Amway Center to raise money for a worthy cause.”

Wawa has been involved with the Mascot Games since Wawa opened its first store in Orlando. When offered the opportunity to be the presenting sponsor, Wawa jumped at the chance to support this great event for a great cause.

Twenty three of the best and most popular mascots from across North America will join the NBA Orlando Magic’s Stuff the Magic Dragon, the event’s host mascot, for the annual competition. Mascots from MLB, NFL, 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.

Last year on day one of the Games, Stuff captained the winning OUC (The Reliable One) Green Team which also featured fan favorite Lil Red from the University of Nebraska, D. Baxter the Bobcat of the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks, Moondog of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers, and N.J. Devil of the NHL New Jersey Devils.

On day two, the Florida Hospital for Children Blue Team was victorious with Billy the Marlin (Miami Marlins), Alberta (University of Florida), Ace (Toronto Blue Jays), Slamson the Lion (Sacramento Kings) and team captain Fin the Whale (Vancouver Canucks).

Mascots don’t talk, but they sure can dance, shoot T-shirts to the crowd and write.

Q&A with Sebastian the Ibis of The U

(University of Miami)

How many Mascot Games have you competed?

StI: “This will be the 14th straight year I have been asked to compete at the Mascot Games. Seems like I am a crowd favorite.”

What mascots friends will you see at the Games?

StI: “The Carolina Hurricanes mascot, Stormy, is a buddy of mine. Even though he is in the NHL, it is easy cheer for another Hurricane.”

Do you have any mascot rivals at the Games?

StL: “My biggest rival is Fin from the Vancouver Canucks. You wouldn't believe it by knowing Fin, but Orca’s are extremely intelligent marine animals. He is one of the toughest competitors in the field, and we somehow always seem to go up against each other in the joust competition. Fortunately, this is a friendly rivalry.”

Do you have a favorite Mascot Games event?

StI: “All the events are great. The Joust Competition is a fan favorite. I guess seeing a 4-way battle between an Ibis, a Killer Whale, a Gator and the Dallas Cowboys mascot is something you don’t get to see everyday.”

What are you doing to get in shape for the Games?

StI: “Actually, to give the other mascots a chance, I have been taking a break from my usual workout routine. That means that I am only running 12 miles and doing 2,000 pushups...before lunch.”

Does an Ibis have any type of advantage at the Games?

StI: “When the Miami fans show up in Orlando to cheer me on, all the other mascots know their fate is sealed.”

What do the Wawa Mascot Games, benefiting New Hope for Kids, mean to you?

StI: “It is a great opportunity to raise money for a great organization and to bring smiles to the faces of children that really need it. It is my favorite event of the year, not just because I get to work with so many of my mascot friends, but because we truly do bring joy to families that have undergone a traumatic experience.”

Twitter @UM_Sebastian

Mascot Mania

Participating Mascot Games mascots:

• Albert & Alberta – University of Florida

• Bango – Milwaukee Bucks

Billy the Marlin – Miami Marlins

• Captain Fear – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

• Carlton – Toronto Maple Leafs

• Champ – Dallas Mavericks

• Fin the Whale – Vancouver Canucks

• Harry the Hawk – Atlanta Hawks

• Kingston – Orland City Soccer Club

• Knightro – UCF

• Lil’ Red – University of Nebraska

• Louie – St. Louis Blues

• N.J. Devil – New Jersey Devils

• Orbit – Houston Astros

• Rangers Captain – Texas Rangers

• Raymond – Tampa Bay Rays

• Rowdy – Dallas Cowboys

Sebastian – University of Miami

• Shades – Orlando Solar Bears

• Slamson the Lion – Sacramento Kings

Stanley C. Panther – Florida Panthers

• Stormy – Carolina Hurricanes

• STUFF – Orlando Magic

• ThunderBug – Tampa Bay Lightning

• Tommy Hawk – Chicago Blackhawks

Mascot Games in Orlando

Tickets for the Mascot Games, presented by Wawa, 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, June 20, a limited number of VIP “Mascot Huddle” tickets, which include a Mascot meet-n-greet and reserved seating, are available for $30. 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.

The participating mascots will be introduced through the social media channels of the Mascot Games, presented by Wawa.. Go to

Facebook.com/MascotGames,

Twitter @MascotGames

and Instagram @Mascot_Games.

Since its inception, the Mascot Games has raised more than $300,000 for New Hope for Kids.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available. Companies interested in sponsoring the event, highlighting its brand to more than 15,000 Central Florida residents, can contact Ron Kaplan at

partnership@mascotgames.org.

About New Hope for Kids

Since 1996, 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 age 19, diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

For information visit www.newhopeforkids.org.

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