After the tragic decapitation of the Gilmore Elementary School Clifford the Gator statue last year, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum made 1,000 Clifford the Gator bobbleheads to help raise funds for the school.

The fiberglass Clifford the Gator statue, which stood in the front of the school, was vandalized last spring. The vandals returned the gator’s head after it was found on Gifford Elementary principal Leslie Hunt’s front porch a few weeks later. The statue was restored in September.

To help the school raise money for student incentives, professional development, and family activities, the school is selling Clifford the Gator bobbleheads.

“When I heard about the vandalism to Gifford’s mascot, Clifford, a little over a year ago, I immediately thought that a bobblehead would make for a great fundraiser,” said Phil Sklar, co-founder and chief executive officer of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. “I was excited that the Principal was on board from the beginning, and it’s great to see the process come full circle.”

Clifford the Gator has been the school’s mascot for 20 years and the statue has been in place since 2002.

“The students at Gifford are so proud of Clifford, our beloved mascot. When they see the high quality memento they can purchase, as a keep sake memory of their earliest years in education, they will cherish him, too.” said Les Hunt, principal at Gifford Elementary.

Sklar said hundreds of Clifford the Gator bobbleheads have already been sold.

The Clifford the Gator bobblehead will also have the chance to be featured in the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is expected to open in downtown Milwaukee in 2016.

“This will be a great memento for current and former students, teachers and administrators and anyone else that is or has been affiliated with Gifford,” said National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and president Brad Novak. “Bobbleheads are very popular and we encourage people to get these now to make sure they don’t miss out!”

The statues are being sold for $15 in the main office and online at www.cliffordbobbles.com or by calling the National Bobblehad Hall of Fame and Museum at (800) 414-1482. Five dollars from each sale will go to the school.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.