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KGH Auxiliary launches 2020 Teddy Bear campaign with donation from local Legion Branch 560

Left to right: Margie Power, Joanne Santoni, Anne Hutcheson, Kevin Hammond, Al Jones, Heather Breck, Sandy Thomas. Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2020. Photo: Samantha Butler Hassan

The Kingston General Hospital (KGH) Auxiliary launched its 2020 Teddy Bear Campaign outside the Royal Canadian Legion Limestone City Branch 560 on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. The campaign’s 17th year kicked off with a $1500 donation from the Legion, $1500 from the Ladies Auxiliary to Branch 560, and $500 from the Young At Heart Seniors Club.

“We’ve come to know the Legion as one of our financial partners for the past few years,” said Heather Breck, President of the KGH Auxiliary and Chair of the campaign, who accepted the donations on Monday.

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) said the 2020 campaign contributions will go towards the purchase of four portable pediatric hospital cribs for Kidd 10 at the KGH site.

According to KHSC, “the beds will ensure children receive safe, comfortable care even when they are transported to other areas of the hospital such as surgery or imaging.”

KGH Auxiliary has a 2020 fundraising goal of $25,000. For every donation of $100, KGH Auxiliary will distribute one teddy bear to a child in need of comfort during their stay at KGH.

“We know how much children love to receive a fuzzy friend when we distribute sponsored bears at the end of the campaign,” Breck said. “And our sponsors have the satisfaction of knowing they’re making the best medical equipment available to children when they need it most.”

Al Jones, President of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560, said they have been supporting the campaign for at least 15 years. “We do a lot of donations in the community. This one is very important to us because it’s about the children,” he said. “All this money buys very important equipment. But also, a sick kid in the hospital having a teddy bear to cuddle, that’s special.”

Three of the 250 Teddy Bears distributed to children visiting KGH. Photo: Samantha Butler-Hassan

Breck said that with COVID-19 challenges, the KGH Auxiliary is adjusting to meet their campaign goals.

“This year, everybody’s fundraising abilities are down,” she said. “We’re not sure what our numbers will be.”

The pandemic has restricted some of their usual fundraising activities, such as in-person campaign events. Normally, Breck said, the KGH Auxiliary volunteers accept donations at a campaign table at Indigo, a bookstore at the Cataraqui Town Centre. Instead, this year Indigo will simply put out a display table with information on the campaign and where people can donate.

The campaign runs from Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 to Wednesday Dec. 23, 2020. Donors have several contact-free options for making a donation:

  • Phone: Call the KGH Auxiliary office at 613-549-6666 extension 6352.
  • Mail: Visit www.kingstonhsc.ca to obtain a sponsorship form with instructions for mailing in your contact information plus cheque or credit card details.
  • Online: Donate through Canada Helps. Choose “Teddy Bear Campaign” under “Apply your donation to a fund set up by this charity.”

Sponsors receive a charitable receipt upon request.

“Once again this year the KGH Auxiliary is grateful for the support of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 and their Ladies Auxiliary,” Breck said.

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Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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