Football mascot to make good on young fan’s disappointment

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As Montana's most popular bear, children constantly seek Monte's attention, but the mascot unintentionally left one youngster heart-broken during the homecoming parade.

MISSOULA, Mt. (KPAX) — Here’s another example of the impact of social media – and Griz nation.

As Montana’s most popular bear, children constantly seek Monte’s attention, but the mascot unintentionally left one youngster heart-broken during the homecoming parade.

Reporter Dan Cimmino went out to discover how the University of Montana is turning her sadness into smiles.

Growing up we all have our heroes – well, imagine being two years old, idolizing Monte being at the homecoming parade. You see him coming by and all you want is a high five – only, you don’t get one. Imagine what your reaction might be.

Poor Berkley Smith came out on the short end after accidentally getting snubbed by Montana’s mascot.

“Both our girls love Monte, and they see him coming and they’re really excited. They’re ready to give him a hug or a high five or whatever. He was hugging so many people, he was behind so he was trying to run to catch up to his float and there was like five or six kids right with Berkley in line. So as he ran by he gave the whole string of kids a high five and somehow he apparently missed Berkley, and she wasn’t too happy about it,” Berkley’s dad, Kyle Smith recalled.

The YouTube video of Berkley crying grabbed the attention of the University of Montana, and they promptly responded to help make things right.

“Yeah it was very cute, an insanely cute video – and so we thought wouldn’t it be fun to find this person. I actually posted it up on Facebook, and I went to go get a cup of coffee and came back to 35 or 40 messages all from people who knew exactly who this was and exactly how to get hold of her. And so we made it happen; we found her. I talked to Monte and he did feel bad for missing her especially since she felt so bad about not getting a high five from Monte, but he promises he’ll make it up to her,” UM New Media Director Eric Taber explained.

UM is giving Berkley’s family tickets to the Griz next home game so that Monte can properly apologize – and Berkley can’t wait.

“What are you going to do when you see Monte?” Kyle asked Berkley – “I’m going to give him a high five.”

Monte will personally visit Berkley’s section and give her the high five she always wanted at the next Griz home game on Oct. 18.