Right around now, couldn’t we all use a story that’s a little fun and a lot positive?
Enter Phil Sklar (BBA-Finance ’06), co-founder and chief executive officer of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. Yes, that’s right, it’s a thing. The idea — born of a love of sports and a passion for the silly statuettes with the bobbling heads — became a full-fledged operation in early 2019.
The museum recently made the news as a positive force by helping secure masks for medical professionals during the coronavirus. In early April, it unveiled a bobblehead to honor Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s leading expert in battling the pandemic. Five dollars from every Fauci bobblehead sold is being donated to the American Hospital Association’s 100 Million Mask Challenge. To date, the museum has raised more than $150,000 for the cause.
“We are thrilled to be making such a large contribution to support the 100 Million Mask Challenge through the sale of Dr. Fauci bobbleheads,” Sklar said. “We will continue these efforts to raise funds to defeat COVID-19 and keep the nation’s first responders safe while making people smile during these unprecedented and difficult times. I also hope we will inspire other businesses and individuals to help others during this pandemic with their unique talents and capabilities.”
The Dr. Fauci bobblehead quickly became the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s best-selling bobblehead of all time, surpassing Sister Jean’s bobblehead, which went viral during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Standing on a base bearing his name, the bobblehead features Fauci wearing a suit and motioning how the nation needs to “flatten the curve”. Sklar noted that they have subsequently launched a Dr. Deborah Birx bobblehead with five dollars proceeds from those sales also being donated to the 100 Million Mask Challenge. Birx is the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, located at 170 S. 1st Street in Milwaukee, houses the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads and features dozens of exhibits related to the history of bobbleheads (going back to the 1760s) and how they are made. It also maintains a comprehensive website, and produces customized bobbleheads for retail sale to organizations, individuals, and teams across the country.