BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | MonroeNow | Jul 12, 2018
NEW BRUNSWICK – The iconic mascot for the shuttered Toys R Us chain, Geoffrey the Giraffe, has found a new home.
At a ceremony on Wednesday, Geoffrey the Giraffe was moved to his new home in the lobby at Bristol-Meyers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
Hospital executives felt the new location was fitting since Geoffrey’s original name was Dr. G. Raffe.
“Geoffrey used to be a doctor,” said RWJUH President and CEO John Gantner, who uncovered Geoffrey’s original name. “I thought it fitting that and a little bit ironic that Dr. G. Raffe has moved to a hospital in this next stage of his career.”
Geoffrey’s future became clouded after the iconic toy brand folded. There were suitors for the 16-foot, 550-pound giraffe, including the San Antonio Zoo, which wanted to make Geoffrey an ambassador for giraffe conservation.
But ultimately after talks between the company’s liquidation adviser, Joseph Malfitano, and a hospital board member, Ken Rosen, Geoffrey was able to pack his bags and move from the company’s headquarters in Wayne to the children’s hospital in New Brunswick.
“For me it was important because I have son how is a Type 1 diabetic and knowing when he goes to the hospital it’s kind of a traumatic experience,” Malfitano, who is founder and managing partner of Malfitano Partners, said. “Having something like this in the front door would seriously cheer kids up.”
Said Rosen: “I simply thought it might be pretty cool for a kid to their eyes pop wide open when they come into the hospital on what otherwise might be a sad occasion and have a little cheer.”