Mascots for a Cure: 'Our goal is 500 mascots'
EUGENE, Ore. - A Lane County man is now trying to get the attention of Ellen Degeneres.
He's working to break a world record and fight childhood cancers at the same time - and you could say he's got a lot of character.
Derek Zinser is trying to assemble the largest number of mascots in the same place at the same time.
They created a video to try and get Ellen's attention and tell her all about Mascots for a Cure.
Mascots for a Cure is now a non-profit organization. Zinser started it after he lost his dad to cancer.
"What I learned while my dad was going through it is 80 percent of battling this disease is mental," he said.
That's where the mascots come in.
"So it's just providing a fun way, whether you're 3 years old or 93, it's going to a bring a smile to your face. Sometimes that in itself can help beat this disease."
Gathering mascots together in one place started at the Relay for Life in 2011 with an invitation to Sluggo, the Eugene Emeralds mascot.
"He said yes, and I was like OK, if he said yes, other mascots will say yes," Zinser said.
A year later, he made an attempt at the world record but fell just shy.
A gathering in Tokyo currently holds that record of 366 mascots.
"We want to try to crush it," Zinser said, "so our goal is 500 mascots."
And when those mascots come together in the same place, at the same time, it will be more than a sea of color and character - Derek said it will offer hope.
"It's amazing," he said. "It gives you the chills and kind of makes you tear up a little bit because you know they're all there fighting cancer. And mascots don't generally talk, but when they're there together, they speak volumes."
To reach their goal, Mascots for a Cure is in need of mascots.
They will attempt to break the world record on Saturday, June 7, during the Rose Festival Parade in Portland.
They're especially interested in having mascots from Oregon's high schools join them.
Also any business, non-profit or organization that has a mascot is encourgaged to join.
All they're asking for is a minimum $50 donation, which is tax deductible.
All the money will go towards fighting cancer here in Oregon.
The deadline for mascots to sign up to be part of Mascots for a Cure world record breaking attempt is this coming Monday, June 2.
You can get more information at mascotsforacure.org