A new push for school and community pride is underway in Burlington, Vermont, home to the University of Vermont.
Organizers of a campaign called “Rally for Rally” announced their goal to create a bronze statue of UVM’s mascot.
The school’s mascot is a catamount named Rally. He is a popular fixture at hockey games, basketball games, and other events around campus and the city.
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Friday, the Church Street Marketplace announced it is teaming with the UVM Athletic Department and leading a charge to raise money for a life-sized statue of Rally to be installed on the busy outdoor pedestrian mall.
According to organizers, the statue will cost roughly $100,000 and will stand outside the Catamount Store, a UVM apparel and merchandise store on the Church Street Marketplace.
“I love the whimsy of mascots; that they are so welcoming to everybody,” said Alison Brown, the Oregon sculptor tapped to create the likeness of Rally. “They connect people.”
Brown said she hopes the statue will be a place where community members, prospective students, current students, and alumni can take photos or reflect on the links between the university and city.
Becky Cassidy of the Church Street Marketplace said the effort will use only donations of private funds for the statue; no public money.
If all goes well, Cassidy said the Rally statue could debut on Church Street in August of 2018, in time for that year’s incoming freshman class.