'Cancer patients and kids never ever give up, so neither will I'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A Lane County man is on a mission, and he says if at first you don't succeed, try again.

And again.

Then try again.

That man is Derek Zinser, the founder of Mascots for a Cure.

He and his collection of colorful and zany mascots are still on the hunt for a world record after coming up short of the goal earlier this month at the Portland Rose Festival.

"It was a lot of fun to have the mascots there," Zinser said. "Kids were running up and giving them hugs and the parents were smiling because their kids were having fun. It was a good experience."

The current record is 366 mascots, set in Tokyo, Japan.

Zinser really wants to bring that record back to the United States, but he only had 105 mascots join him at the Rose Festival.

Still, Zinser calls the event a success because Mascots for a Cure raised nearly $4,000 to help kids fighting cancer.

And they're not done yet.

"My attitude is that cancer patients and kids never ever give up, so neither will I. We're going to keep going until we get it. It's a tough record to break to beat, but as I say, the fourth time's the charm."

Mascots for a Cure plans to participate in the next year's Rose Festival parade and be sure to look for them at next month's Eugene Marathon.

The mascots will participate in the kids 1K event on Saturday, July 26 and during the full marathon on Sunday, July 27, all those colorful mascots will be camped out at mile marker 17, handing out water and cheering on the runners.

Mascots for a Cure has also contacted Disney to see if they could make another attempt to break the world record at Disneyland later this year.

They are also looking into the how they might participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.

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