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Munson bobblehead proceeds designated for scholarship.


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Munson bobblehead proceeds designated for scholarship


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/11/08

Athens When Rob Ellis came up with the idea of creating a Larry Munson bobblehead doll, he did so with the thought of how much money could be made.

Now that the idea is a reality, neither he nor Munson are going to make a dime and that's just the way they want it.

At Munson's request, all proceeds from the new bobblehead doll, which is coming soon to a store near you, will go to the Noah Harris Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Harris, a former Georgia cheerleading captain who befriended Munson while attending UGA, was killed in Iraq in June of 2005. Harris, an officer in the U.S. Army, was 23.

"Larry has always been a huge supporter of the cheerleaders, and the first or second time I met with him to talk about this he said he wanted all his money to go to Noah's scholarship," said Ellis, an insurance broker who lives in Savannah. "When he said that I got to thinking, 'Well, I don't want to make any money on it if he's not going to.'

"So I decided I'd do the same thing. We took it to Georgia, and they said they'd do it, too. So that's how it got started, and it just kind of grew from there."

This is not your average bobblehead. It's more of a seven-inch statue than plastic toy. It's a remarkable likeness of Munson in the 1980s, and it reproduces some of his greatest calls. Flick a switch between the feet of Bobblehead Larry, and he'll growl out five of his most famous calls: "Run Lindsay," "Hobnail Boot," "Sugar Falling Out of the Sky," "Oh, You Herschel Walker" and "Oh, God a Touchdown!"

Ellis said the bobbleheads are in the very early stages of distribution. They are expected to retail between $25 and $30, and only a limited number about 5,000 will be sold.

Initially, they will be available on the UGA athletics Web site, but eventually will be sold wherever UGA retail products are offered.

Munson, the Bulldogs' legendary play-by-play man for 43 years, was hospitalized late last week and underwent brain surgery last Friday. He remains hospitalized this week, but is expected to make a full recovery.

"He was involved from the very beginning, [from] conceptuals [and] artists renderings, and we brought up a clay mock-up," Elllis said. "He saw the finished version, laughed and said, 'That's pretty good.' "

Family and friends of Harris were blown away that Munson would designate all the proceeds to their scholarship fund. Munson, football coach Mark Richt, swimming coach Jack Bauerle and UGA spirit coordinator Shelly Korpieski O'Brien were instrumental in getting the scholarship started after Harris' death. But they remain well short of the $150,000 needed to fully endow it.

"It's taking a while," said O'Brien, who cheered with Harris and co-captained the 2001 squad with him. "Actually, Munson approached me about endowing a scholarship in Noah's name a few years ago, and he and his fishing buddies vowed to get it done. We're about halfway there, so this should help a lot."

O'Brien received one of the first Munson bobbleheads off the assembly line in the mail from Ellis last week. She offered a glowing review.

"I sat and played with it about 30 minutes as soon as I got it," O'Brien said. "It really is great."


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