Search remains open for new Stitches mascot



By Rachel Bryant

UK students standing between 4-foot-6 and 5-foot-2 have the chance to win some scholarship money.

The Kentucky Children’s Hospital is extending the auditions for Stitches, the young Wildcat mascot, after students failed to attend tryouts on April 18.

Cynde Estep, UK HealthCare senior service line manager, said she feels students did not attend the audition because there had only been a week of advertisement, not allowing enough time for students to learn about the tryouts.

Students will have the chance to audition again Sunday at 1 p.m. in the UK Seaton Center’s gymnasium, on South Campus next to the Johnson Center.

The audition will consist of a short interview and then trying on the costume.

Stitch is the cousin of UK mascot Scratch. The job of Stitches is to visit children and their families at the Children’s Hospital and outpatient clinics. Stitches also represents the hospital in the community at public events and helps raise awareness for the hospital.

The current Stitches, Samantha Newton, said the health care aspect of the job and being able to help others is what made her want to try out. She said her favorite part of the job was going to Children’s Hospital and making the kids happy.

“It kind of takes them away from what they are going through, even if it was for 15 minutes,” said Newton, a kinesiology and health promotion senior.

This year two students will be picked to play the role of Stitches.

There will be the lead Stitches and an apprentice. Interested students must be available this summer and throughout the school year.

Estep said the opportunity at hand is very beneficial and personally enriching.

“It’s great for the resume after graduation and a great way to be of service to the community and impact the lives of others,” Estep said.

To entice interested students, there will be two partial scholarships awarded to those picked to play the role of Stitches. The lead Stitches will be awarded half of in-state tuition and the apprentice will be given $750 per semester.

Estep said the student who is chosen to be Stitches needs to like kids and want to make them smile. The responsibility of the mascot is to take the children’s mind off of their illness.

For more information, students can contact Estep at [email protected] or 859-257-2623.