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September 21, 2023

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Organization helped Kimmy Zaccaro form friendships, appreciation

For Kimmy Zaccaro, the decision to try out for SIC SIC wasn’t as easy as people may think.

“They said I had to write a song,” Zaccaro said about her first interview with the spirit group. “I got really nervous … I emailed and said ‘I don’t want to do it.’”

But Zaccaro, now a senior, got some advice from a friend and alumna who said SIC SIC is “the coolest thing at BG.”

The endorsement changed Zaccaro’s mind and this month, she was revealed as a member of “a group with six people that mean the world to you.”

“It’s a support system like no other,” she said. “I always knew I could trust them.”

One member of her ‘support system’ was unmasked with her; it was her ‘partner’ in the group, Matt Bruening.

“She’s probably my best friend,” Bruening said of Zaccaro. “She knows everything about me and I know everything about her; that’s what probably made the experience good.”

Zaccaro said Bruening is her “absolute best friend, in and out of mask,” too.

“It’s a cool feeling, knowing I’m going to have these relationships with these people forever,” she said.

SIC SIC has six members each year, but Zaccaro and Bruening have been in the group together from the beginning.

They met for the first time the summer after their freshman year to pick their masks. They wanted to be Minnie and Mickey Mouse, but Disney doesn’t allow those masks to be worn.

“I didn’t want to be Miss Piggy,” Zaccaro said.

When she picked out the Miss Piggy mask, though, Bruening was excited.

“It was kind of a cool mask, kind of girly,” he said. “It fit her well.”

Soon, Zaccaro got used to it.

“The [voice] was hard because for the first couple of times Matt and I went out in mask, we didn’t talk,” she said. “My voice just kind of came to me. It’s really kid-friendly and high-pitched, like I thought Miss Piggy would be.”

Bruening said Zaccaro was the “perfect Miss Piggy.”

“She had the perfect voice … the perfect mannerisms with kids,” Bruening said. “She always had a very high, girly kind of voice.”

Sammi Frankenberg, a junior and a cheerleader for the Falcons, knew Zaccaro only as Miss Piggy for the past three years.

The two built a friendship despite, or maybe because of, the mask. It started when Zaccaro was assigned to Frankenberg’s stunt team during her freshman year, and blossomed from there.

“She would see me or I would see her and we’d get really excited,” Frankenberg said. “I’d run up to her and we would hug.”

Zaccaro never revealed her identity to Frankenberg before the unmasking.

“I’ll never have another experience like this,” Frankenberg said. “It’s a very cool, unique personal story to have.”

From the experience, Frankenberg learned not to be afraid to open up to people, “because you can get a good friendship out of it.”

Now, looking back on her experience as Miss Piggy, Zaccaro said without it, she’s “not sure I would be so tied into the University.”

“SIC SIC opened me up to seeing BGSU as a bigger picture versus just myself,” she said.

Bruening said Zaccaro was the “organizer of the group.”

It seemed she was that way out of mask as well, as during her time in college she was not only in SIC SIC but president of her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and on the Panhellenic Council executive board.

“She’s such an independent, ambitious, determined person and I’ve seen that increase through the years,” said Paige Mertz, Zaccaro’s roommate and ‘secret keeper.’ “She’s one of my role models.”

Despite her personality, Zaccaro said she never thought she’d be in SIC SIC.

“I’ve always been an outgoing, weird person I guess, but I never imagined myself doing what I did,” she said.

Though she couldn’t have dreamed it up, she’s glad her friend talked her into being involved in it her freshman year.

“I’m so thankful I decided to do it because I almost decided not to,” Zaccaro said. “[It gave me a] greater appreciation for the University as a whole.”

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