Pins for the Colombine House
- Created on Friday, 27 August 2010 15:09
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Martin Rep
UTRECHT, the Netherlands - The World Mahjong Championship is made by the people who remain backstage. Chris Janssen is the one who is responsible for the WMC2010 mascot of ‘Colombine’. During intermissions, he sells pins of the Colombine House.
“For the championship”, tells Chris Janssen, “we needed a mascot as well as good cause to sponsor. We thought that might attract companies to sponsor us.
“Initially, we thought about the Dick Bruna character of Miffy, which is called ‘Nijntje’ in Dutch: little rabbit. After all, Dick Bruna lives at Utrecht. Mr. Bruna liked the idea and even made some WMC-related sketches. But, eventually, he was not allowed to have Miffin connected to the mahjong championship, since there was no clear connection with children."
“Consequently, we thought about the Ronald McDonald house, or ‘KiKa’: foundation Children Cancer Free. But, we also considered that these institutions do not exactly lack sponsorship.
“I then came up with the idea of cooperating with the Colombine House, which is established by my friend the artist Herman van Veen, who also is the patron. The Colombine House takes care that children who are ill, will get a holiday, with their families, in a cottage in the Dutch polder.
“The people of the Colombine House liked the idea very much. We could use their logo if we would take care of the merchandising. So, on various occasions, I sell their booklets, cd’s, dvd’s etcetera. And here, in the venue of the World Championship, I am selling their nice pins. You want another? They are just 2 euros.”
Yesterday, Chris sold pins for some 300 euros. He admits he uses an ‘assertive selling style’. “If you let them just lie there, nobody will buy one.”
“Some time ago, we could send them a check of 450 euros. And, even though many people think that we do not have many sponsors, we did collect a considerable sum for the Colombine House. No, I cannot tell you how much. Sunday evening, when the WMC is over, the president will receive a check.”