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Bethlehem, Pa., December 10, 2009— Moravian College will host a retirement party for Lightfoot and Shiloh, the live greyhound mascots, on Saturday, December 12 from 2 to 6 p.m. during back-to-back basketball games. The duo, who run the length of the football field to kick off both halves of home football games for the past few years, had their final run at halftime of the November 24th football game against Juniata. The mascot duties will be assumed by Lightfoot’s nephew Kiowa, who is being trained to take over the tradition. The basketball games will also mark the transition to a new version of “Amos,” the human mascot.
The tradition of having live greyhounds as mascots on campus had been absent for about thirty years, until in the fall of 2005, the Omicron Gamma Omega Fraternity brought back the tradition of “OGO, the Greyhound”. “OGO”, or Lightfoot, is a rescued former racer; dating back to the late 1940’s, there has been a series of “OGO’s”, the current version being the fifth. After the fourth “OGO” retired in the 70s, a new greyhound didn’t appear until 2005, when the fraternity contacted alumna Linda Davis-Wallen and her husband about volunteering their rescued greyhounds. For five years, Lightfoot has lead the Greyhound football team onto the field wearing blue and grey Moravian College silks, accompanied by rescued friend Shiloh, wearing red and black OGO fraternity silks.
The current upright, two-footed “Amos the Greyhound” mascot has been getting a complete mascot makeover from head to toe during 2009. Last spring, he attended an intensive Mascot Boot Camp run by Dave Raymond, the original Phillies Phanatic, and was featured on CNN during coverage of the camp. The old Amos has been on duty since 1999 and will be retired in the same event. The Moravian College Dawg Pack Performers group has been hard at work training, to bring new life to the new Amos, who will appear in 2010.
Lightfoot and Shiloh will be joined by more rescued greyhounds from Pocono Greyhound Adoption in Johnston Hall on December 12. PGA is a non-profit, all volunteer greyhound adoption group whose mission is to provide education to the public about retired racing greyhounds and to raise funds for providing for the welfare of retired racing greyhounds by assisting in their placement in suitable homes and giving ongoing support to the greyhound and its new family. Donations to the PGA will be accepted at the game.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.