Committee plans contest for best-dressed black squirrel

Bo Gemmell

The Centennial Celebration Committee is selling 8- and 30-inch black squirrel statues that people can clothe or decorate for the Centennial Squirrel Contest during the 2009 Homecoming.

The committee is promoting the 2- and 10-pound statues of the unofficial mascot as a way for community members to participate in the upcoming Centennial Celebration, which will celebrate the university’s 100th anniversary.

Pat Nash, assistant to the vice president for university relations, said the 8-inch squirrels will be displayed at the Student Center Monday, and the Centennial Celebration Committee will sell the smaller statues Dec. 2 and 3 in the Student Center.

People can purchase them until May 15 on campus at the Administration Services Building, the second floor of the library or off campus at the Kent Chamber of Commerce at 138 E. Main St.

“It’s the perfect gift for mom or dad for Christmas,” Nash said.

The 8-inch squirrel statues cost $25, and the 30-inch statues cost $250. Both can be pre-ordered.

Nash said the $25 price is a discount because of the manufacturing and shipping costs of the resin statues, and the university wants to aim sales of the $250 statues to student groups and other associations.

She said any profit will go toward a “Centennial Squirrel Scholarship” for either books or tuition, depending on the amount raised.

So far, Nash said 50 orders have been placed for the 8-inch squirrels, and she hopes the 30-inch squirrels will arrive before winter break from Mountain View Studios, a resin casting business in Tennessee.

Three students submitted designs for the squirrel, and the first models were created at the Tuscarawas campus, she said.

“It was all done at a regional campus,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, the project wouldn’t have happened.”

People will vote for their favorite 8- and 30-inch squirrels decorated by individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations. The winners from each category will receive prices, Nash said, but the prices have not yet been determined.

Students, organizations and businesses can register to compete in the Centennial Squirrel Contest until September 15.

Contact general assignment reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected].