All hail the Rally Squir­rel!

Modern Healthcare - - MODERN HEALTHCARE -

In this tale of two squir­rels, one in St. Louis giveth to a hos­pi­tal, and one in South Carolina taketh away.

Out­liers would like to get the bad news out of the way first. Ac­cord­ing to the Independent Mail of An­der­son, S.C., a squir­rel caused a dis­rup­tion at a Duke En­ergy sub­sta­tion in An­der­son on Nov. 14 that cut off power to 17 cus­tomers, mostly busi­nesses, in­clud­ing An­med Health Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Power was dis­rupted for more than 90 min­utes and, while the hos­pi­tal’s backup gen­er­a­tors were slow to kick in, bat­tery back­ups for equip­ment kept things hum­ming un­til they did, a hos­pi­tal spokes­woman told the An­der­son pa­per. The squir­rel did not sur­vive.

Our ro­dent saga next takes us to St. Louis, where base­ball fans found a tal­is­man in the squir­rel or squir­rels that ap­peared on the field at Busch Sta­dium dur­ing con­sec­u­tive games in the Car­di­nals’ play­off se­ries against Philadel­phia last month. (No one ever es­tab­lished whether it was the same squir­rel in both games.) The Car­di­nals beat the Phillies in that first-round se­ries and went on to win the World Se­ries as a Rally Squir­rel wave washed over the city. Car­di­nal Glen­non Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion rode that wave to raise $470,000 for the city’s SSM Car­di­nal Glen­non Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter by sell­ing Rally Squir­rel ap­parel since Oct. 11, ac­cord­ing to a spokes­woman. More than 30,000 T-shirts were sold. The funds will cover the cost of build­ing a play­ground above the Bob Costas Can­cer Cen­ter, named af­ter the long­time an­nouncer from St. Louis.

The larger-than-life in­car­na­tion of the Rally Squir­rel, Out­liers is happy to re­port, is still very much alive and was able to par­tic­i­pate in a news con­fer­ence, pic­tured above, this month.

PHIL SHOUL­BERG

Car­di­nal fans made the Rally Squir­rel a star—and a char­ity dy­namo.

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