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Tailgate Talbot mascot contest to benefit Hampton boy

| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Bragging and barking rights are on the line as Hampton's official Honorary Talbot mascot will be determined by the most money raised at the Talbot Tailgate on Oct. 13.

Reserved for canines only, donations can be made for one of the five dog finalists from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and the top dog will be announced that evening. All voting proceeds will benefit Will Pilarski, a fourth-grader at Central Elementary battling brain cancer, according Alba Ibinson and Amanda Rihn, of the Central Parent Teacher Organization.

There will be five dog finalists to vote on at the Talbot Tailgate, one representing each of the district's schools. These final five will be determined by students who registered their dog for $5. These nominees will be represented by a jar during the lunch periods from Oct. 10-12. Those with the highest earnings are the tailgate finalists, said Ibinson.

At the night of the tailgate, the finalists start off a zero bank. The amount they raised at their schools does not carry over, said Rihn.

The Central Elementary PTO has been running and organizing the event for years now and regularly invite the other schools to participate. While Central provides a suggested fundraiser, the other schools can choose one of their own, though Rihn said they do ask it to be related with the Hampton community.

However, the registration fees and all the money from the tailgate will go toward Central's designated cause for that year, such as Will, who is has a recurring brain tumor, said Ibinson.

“They're a wonderful family and Will is an amazing young boy,” said Rihn, who has two children at Central and one at the middle school.

Last year, they raised $3,167 to a local family who were victims of a house fire prior to the school year, said Rihn and Ibinson. All the schools donated on top of the registration fees and tailgate proceeds.

Prior years' recipients went toward the Hampton Community playground and the local volunteer fire department. They had also raised money for Pilarski previously, when he was first diagnosed.

The Honorary Talbot mascot who raised the most money last year was a dog coincidentally named Hampton, said Rihn.

Anyone who would like to support Will and his family, can donate at a booth at the tailgate. When the voting ends, organizers count the money and the dog will be announced there.

“The kids really want their dog to be the one at halftime and be able say their dog was the winner,” said Ibinson, who has children in third at Central, an eighth-grader at the middle school, and a junior. “But I think they all know it's going to a great cause.”

The pups also receive a plaque, said Rihn.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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