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Christopher Bruce spent four formative years inside a fuzzy suit, as the beloved YouDEe at the University of Delaware. “My mom always joked that she sent me off to college become a doctor, and I came home a stuffed animal.” After a career in and around mascots – including a stint as G-Wiz for the Washington Wizards – Christopher now serves as the Chief Impact Officer for the Wilmington-based Mascots for a Cure, and his mascot friends came out in force for the organization’s inaugural 5K, kicking off at Stitch House on Market last Saturday…
“I’d be surprised if there’s ever been a bigger group of mascots in Wilmington. We had the Philly Phanatic, of course, leading the charge. We had Swoop from the Philadelphia Eagles, Poe from the Baltimore Ravens, the St. Joe’s Hawk, YoUDee from the University of Delaware, Coaty from the Delaware Blue Coats, Rocky from the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Strike from Goldey Beacom, and Sir Braveheart from Mascots for a Cure. It was just a party.”
“Mascots for a Cure is an organization that helps kids and families fighting cancer and other serious illness by providing them with the hope, joy and love they need to take on their battle. It’s just an amazing organization focused on supporting these kids as they’re going through some of the hardest times of their lives, while reminding them that they are kids and trying to provide them with some healthy distractions.”
“In all, the inaugural Mascots for a Cure 5K went really well. We had a great group of people that came out to support, and we had three really brave kids who were are Featured Fighters, our Courageous Knights.”
“Early on with the organization, we came up with this idea to have a knighting ceremony. Our mascot is a knight, and a lot of our themes sit in that pocket. So we have our ‘Royal Families’ and our ‘Courageous Knights,’ and the knighting ceremony is a way to remind them that they are strong enough, they are brave enough, they are courageous enough, and they are not alone. In the ceremony, we charge them with a mission to be brave, to be strong, to be courageous, and to stand strong in the face of fear. It’s rare that it doesn’t choke you up when you’re in that moment.”
“We were we were really lucky to have three of our newest Courageous Knights join us the race: Grace, Riley and Matteo. Matteo’s story is incredible. This kid has been on a mission to support kids and families, and he set himself on a goal to run a hundred miles by running a bunch of 5K-type events. We were his final event to complete that 100-mile run, which was amazing. And it was actually the second race he ran that day, and he finished second overall.”
“Mascots are a powerful tool in the community. There’s something inherently larger-than-life about these characters. They spark the imagination, especially for kids at that age. They create a little bit of magic. And because of that, there’s a lot of cool things that you’re able to do. You can leave a really long lasting and meaningful impression.”