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The Votes Are In: Ember Is Ralphie VI's Nickname

Jul 6, 2022

BOULDER — Ralphie VI, the University of Colorado's live buffalo mascot, will take on the nickname "Ember" as the result of a fan vote and fundraiser.

Voting began on May 27, Ralphie VI's second birthday, and ended on July 3 with 702 fans across 48 states casting a vote and in the process generating $24,964 to support the Ralphie program.

The nickname Ember won with 43.8 percent of donation dollars. Blitz was the runner up at 29.5 percent followed by Sixer (9.1%), and Tini (7.7%). The remaining 9.9 percent of the donations were unattached to a name and went directly to support Ralphie VI and the Ronda L. Hackbart-Reyes Endowed Ralphie Handler Support Fund.

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).

The nickname Ember came from, 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.

Every dollar contributed will 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.  

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.