Have you seen me? News 12 searches for former NJ mascot

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EDISON -

Many people may not know this, but New Jersey once had a state mascot.

“Perfy” was born out of the 1980s New Jersey tourism campaign “New Jersey and You, Perfect together,” under former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean. Perfy was a giant Frisbee-shaped character that was often seen roaming the beaches and downtowns of New Jersey as part of the tourism campaign.

The campaign was a hit with the public. But Perfy? Reaction was mixed.

A column in the Courier Post newspaper describes Perfy's debut at a parade outside the State House in 1985 and quotes one observer as saying, "What in the world is it?" and a state official calling it "a walking logo that's neither male nor female."

Another Courier Post article describes a July 4th parade in Trenton after which Perfy was "engulfed by an adoring crowd of 100 youngsters.”

New Jersey tourism saw a decline a few years after the campaign due to major ocean pollution and medical waste at the Jersey Shore and Perfy disappeared and was seemingly never heard from again.

So News 12’s Brian Donohue set out to find out more about the state’s former mascot. Donohue spent two months making phone calls to state officials who really had no idea what he was even talking about when he asked about Perfy.

Donohue then went to the home of 97-year-old Victoria Schmidt. Schmidt was the former director of the New Jersey Division of Tourism and created the “New Jersey and You” campaign. But even she had a hard time remembering Perfy.

Donohue says that he will continue to search for Perfy with the ultimate goal of donning the costume himself.

Anyone who may have information about Perfy’s whereabouts can contact Donohue via social media.

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