Ralphie VI is 2 years old! Help us name it
David Plati, Associate DA/Sports Information
Fundraising for the program kicks off as Ralphie VI turns two on Friday
BOULDER — Ralphie VI, the University of Colorado’s living buffalo mascot, turns two on Friday, and school officials are inviting the public to help pick his nickname in a one-time fundraiser to support the Ronda L. Hackbart-Reyes Endowed Ralphie Handler Support Fund, with all funds going directly into Ralphie’s care.
The name Ralphie began with Ralphie I, who was originally called “Rralph” after the sound she made while running. When she retired, the name was so iconic that it was decided that all future mascots would carry the title Ralphie. They were also given a birth name by their masters. Moonshine (Ralphie II) was followed by Tequila (Ralphie II), Rowdy (Ralphie IV) and Blackout (Ralphie V).
“We are forever grateful for the support of donors who make the Ralphie program possible, and we want to give fans the opportunity to nickname Ralphie VI because they will have the opportunity to watch her grow,” said Taylor Stratton, manager and head trainer of the Ralphie Live Mascot Program. “Fans will have the chance to vote for their favorite name while impacting Ralphie’s future by supporting the world-class care she receives.”
Four potential names have been selected as finalists, each with a reason behind it:
Blitz. Ralphie VI likes to run fast and often picks up her speed and goes home as soon as she sees her trailer at the end of the run.
Sixth. The sixth mascot to officially represent CU, the name pays homage to the legacy of the buffaloes that came before it and served as Ralphie.
Ember. After being abandoned by her mother, Ralphie VI was bottle-fed and raised by a beef cow before being identified as a possible candidate for CU’s next mascot. When a wildfire threatened the ranch where she was staying, Ralphie Handlers sprang into action and brought her to Colorado to begin her training. His fiery personality and his love for the crowd give him an undeniable sparkle.
Tiny. Ralphie VI was the smallest and youngest buffalo to ever debut as CU’s mascot, weighing around 400 pounds before his first game. Pronounced “Teeny”, this name pays homage to his first year of racing and his status as “Baby Ralphie”.
A fifth option exists if you’re not sure which name to choose but still want to contribute, as well as another option to donate to the Ralphie Handler Support Fund endowed by Ronda L. Hackbart-Reyes.
Every dollar donated counts as one vote in the contest to determine the name of Ralphie VI. All donations will go to and will go directly to Ralphie’s care, food, transportation and welfare. All funds donated to the Ralphie Program enable ongoing, world-class, year-round care by Ralphie’s handlers and trainers.
It only costs a minimum of $6 to vote, but fans can donate any amount above that amount. Interested people can vote and donate online. The name with the most votes by July 3 will be considered the winner; it will be announced on Wednesday, July 6 on Ralphie’s social media platforms.
About the Ralphie Handler Support Fund Endowed by Ronda L. Hackbart-Reyes
In the spring of 2021, the University of Colorado family lost Ronda Hackbart-Reyes, an alumnus of the Class of 1982. Ronda was a strong supporter of the Buffs’ athletic programs. His commitment to CU athletics went beyond being a longtime season ticket holder. She supported the mental health program for athletes, improvements to the women’s soccer field and the Ralphie Mascot program. As a living legacy in Ronda’s honor, his family has established an endowment fund that will provide scholarships to the Ralphie Handlers.
By contributing to this endowment fund, you can share Ronda’s love for Ralphie and his masters. Ralphie handlers are full-time UC students who spend 20 or more hours a week training Ralphie, caring for her, training, training, and taking Ralphie to his public appearances . This scholarship supports hard-working students who make this program possible.