General Amherst hosts third annual teddy bear drive

 

By Danica Skakavac

This year marks the third annual year of the Teddy Bear Drive hosted by General Amherst students Celina Varacalli and Cristina Cercel. The drive ran from February 20 to the 28 but was extended to March 3.

For these two weeks, students had the opportunity to bring in new bears to their second period class in hopes of winning a Bull’s Eye pizza party. There was also the option of participating in a raffle, so students could buy tickets for a gift basket instead.

The total number of bears once the drive finished was 143. The custodian, Jim Craig, kindly donated 25 of those bears. From the earnings of the raffle, Varacalli used the money to purchase 67 of those total bears. All the bears will be given to the pediatric floor for sick kids at the Windsor Regional Hospital.

General Amherst High School donated 143 teddy bears to Windsor Regional Hospital just prior to March Break. From left: Cristina Cercel, Windsor Regional Hospital vice president of public affairs, communications and philanthropy Ron Foster and Celina Varacalli. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

General Amherst High School donated 143 teddy bears to Windsor Regional Hospital just prior to March Break. From left: Cristina Cercel, Windsor Regional Hospital vice president of public affairs, communications and philanthropy Ron Foster and Celina Varacalli. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

“There’s a lot of sick kids in Windsor and Essex County so if General Amherst could help in any way, it would be giving teddy bears to put a smile on their faces,” said Celina Varacalli, who had been the brains and brawn of the operation this year.

She added she was, “proud of the outcome. General Amherst did a great job.” According to Ron Foster, the Vice President of Public Affairs, Communication and Philanthropy of Windsor Regional Hospital, they need literally thousands of bears because new children are always coming in.

“The bears reduce anxiety and stress when they come in the hospital,” said Foster. And the best part is, every child gets to keep it.

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