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Ralphie VI Is 2! Help Us Give Her A Nickname

May 27, 2022

BOULDER — Ralphie VI, the University of Colorado's live buffalo mascot, turns two years old Friday, and school officials are inviting the public to participate in selecting her nickname in a unique fundraiser to support the Ralphie program. 

The name Ralphie started with Ralphie I, who was originally called "Rralph" after the sound she would make while running. When she retired, the name was so iconic that it was decided all future mascots would carry the title of Ralphie. They were also given a birth name, or nickname, by their handlers. Moonshine (Ralphie II) was followed by Tequila (Ralphie III), Rowdy (Ralphie IV), and Blackout (Ralphie V).

"We are eternally grateful for the support from donors that make the Ralphie program possible, and we want to give fans an opportunity to nickname Ralphie VI since they will have the opportunity to watch her grow up," said Taylor Stratton, manager and head coach of the Ralphie Live Mascot Program.  "Fans will have the chance to vote for their favorite nickname while making an impact on Ralphie's future through supporting the world class care she receives."

Four potential nicknames have been selected as finalists, each with a reason behind it:

Blitz.  Ralphie VI loves to run fast, and often picks up her speed and blitzes home as soon as she sees her trailer at the end of the run.

Sixer.  The sixth mascot to officially represent CU, this name pays homage to the legacy of buffalo who have come before her 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 jumped to action and brought her to Colorado to begin her training.  Her fiery personality and love for the crowd gives her undeniable flare.

Tini.  Ralphie VI was the smallest and youngest buffalo to ever debut as CU's mascot, weighing in at about 400 pounds before her first game.  Pronounced "Teeny," this name pays homage to her first year running and her status as "Baby Ralphie."

A fifth option exists if you can't make up your mind which nickname to select but still would like to contribute, as well with another option to donate to the Ronda L. Hackbart-Reyes Endowed Ralphie Handler Support Fund.

Every dollar contributed counts as a vote in the contest to determine Ralphie VI's nickname.  All donations will go to the and go directly toward Ralphie's care, feeding, transportation and well-being.  All funds donated to the Ralphie program allow for continued world-class and year-round care by Ralphie's handlers and coaches.  

It costs just a minimum of $6 to vote, but fans can donate any figure above that amount.  Those interested can vote and donate online.  The nickname with the most votes by July 3 will be deemed the winner; it will be announced on Wednesday, July 6 on Ralphie's social media platforms.

About The The Ronda L. Hackbart-Reyes Endowed Ralphie Handler Support Fund

In the spring of 2021, the University of Colorado family lost Ronda Hackbart-Reyes, an alumnus from the class of 1982. Ronda was an avid supporter of the Buffs' athletic programs. Her commitment to CU athletics went beyond being a long-time season ticket holder. She supported the Mental Health Program for Athletes, the improvements for the women's soccer field, and the Ralphie Mascot program. As a living legacy in Ronda's honor, her family has established an endowment fund which will provide scholarships to the Ralphie Handlers. 

By contributing to this endowment fund, you can share in Ronda's love for Ralphie and her handlers. Ralphie handlers are full-time CU students who commit 20 or more hours per week to training Ralphie, caring for her, working out, practicing, and taking Ralphie to her public appearances. This scholarship supports the hard-working student handlers who make this program possible.