The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 26, 2013

Ironman mascot concept unveiled

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — District students may have a redesigned Danville Ironman, pending successful fundraising and board approval.

At the school board’s meeting Tuesday, resident Jennifer Enterline presented a new version of the Ironman to be used as a mascot costume. The reimagined Ironman was created, free of charge, by Canadian company BAM Mascots Inc. If the district is interested in buying a custom-created foam costume from BAM, the cost will be $5,200.

Enterline sought permission to use the district’s official letterhead in soliciting community donations for the project. Eneterline said she already spoke with local business and several said they would be interested in donating money to the project.

“I’ve had all positive” feedback so far, she said.

School board president Allan Schappert said the new mascot looks fine, but he wanted to be sure there was enough support for the project, both financially and from the school community, before committing.

Enterline plans to meet with the district again to further discuss the matter.

The mascot was put before the high school’s student government association for feedback on Wednesday and they all seemed in favor of it, Enterline said.

Her next step is soliciting community donations to show support and interest for the project. If purchased, the Ironman could be used for live advertising as a thank you for businesses that donate, Enterline said. She is also interested in using the Ironman for community events such as the Iron Heritage Festival and Spring Fling.

Groups interested in donating can contact her at her business email, busylittlebeavers@verizon.net.

Enterline, a Danville graduate, remembered when earlier high school classes had an Ironman mascot who would dress up to entertain crowds at school events.

Enterline discussed the matter with district athletic director Ron Kanaskie and cheerleading coach Jennifer Nardi before presenting the design to the school board.

She has been laying the groundwork for this project for about a year. She started by looking online for companies that could make an Ironman mascot. She reached out to other companies before BAM, “but they didn’t seem as easy to work with as this company did, and the things on their website did not seem as nice,” she said.

BAM has made mascots for several colleges and high schools throughout the U.S. and Canada and their work is beautiful, Enterline said.

“All the other schools in this area have a mascot with the exception of Selinsgrove. I don’t see why it’s impossible for us to have one as well,” she said.

The current Shikellamy Brave costume used by the Shikellamy school district was donated three years ago by the grandparents of a football player, according to Beth Zeigler, Shikellamy cheerleading coach.

About 15 years before that, the district paid $790 for a costume out of a catalog, she said.

The Southern Columbia Tiger was also bought out of a catalog a few years ago for about $1,200, according to athletic director Jim Roth.

While certain companies offer pre-made mascots that can be ordered out of a catalog, Enterline had to go with a custom designer, at a higher price, because the Ironman is tied to Danville’s unique heritage.

BAM’s design was based on older images of the Danville Ironman in the high school gym, sent to them by Enterline.

Changes can still be made to the mascot, if the district decides to purchase it. Enterline wants to add some facial hair to the Ironman to make him look more rugged, while board members suggested putting the Danville arm and hammer logo on his hard hat or shirt.

One question the Danville district will need to answer is who would wear the costume if purchased. The current design has the Ironman standing at five feet, eight inches tall, which Schappert noted could be discriminatory against girls who might want to don the costume.

Nardi suggested opening mascot try-outs to the public, Enterline said.

The new costume could also lead to higher insurance prices, Schappert said, as the Mount Carmel Tornado mascot was set on fire recently.

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.