With the start of the 2019-2020 school year, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School acquired a new addition to the Eagle family: a mascot. The Tony the Eagle costume was donated to MSD by Amazing Mascots.
Kelly Frank, the president of Amazing Mascots and the woman behind the donation, is childhood friends with Student Services Secretary Debra Wanamaker.
“I grew up in Sunrise, Florida and my next-door neighbor growing up, Debbie Wanamaker, is an employee at the school, and her two children attend. They’re like extended family to me, and when the tragedy happened, I felt terrible. I didn’t know what to do or how to help,” Frank said. “I decided to do what I could, and since I’m in the mascot making business, I wanted to gift the school a new costume. Being a mascot has brought me so much joy, I wanted to give the students a chance to perform in a professional style mascot suit and have some fun.”
Frank was a professional mascot performer before getting into the mascot making business. While in high school, Frank learned how to make costumes with the help of her family friend and her home economics teacher. It escalated from there, going from an in-school business run with her best friend to a major company in Chicago.
“We got an awesome new costume, and we hope everyone will love interacting with it at all of our school events. SGA is reviving Rowdy Eagles. I am trying to lead this effort by ensuring we have students to support our athletes at every home game,” Student Government Association School Spirit Committee Head Max Wolfman said. “We have a lot of plans for school spirit. We encourage everyone to participate in ‘Eagle Pride Fridays,’ where you simply wear MSD apparel. We plan to have lunchtime spirit theme activities on some Fridays and increase overall school spirit on campus.”
Tony the Eagle made his first appearance at the 2019 annual Pig Bowl game against Coral Springs High School. Senior Jacob Bigelman wore the mascot costume for this game, but will not be the permanent mascot.
The official mascot has not yet been chosen. Whoever is selected to wear the costume will remain anonymous until the end of the school year when SGA will host a big reveal.
This story was originally published in the October 2019 Eagle Eye Print Edition.