KGH Auxiliary launches 2019 Teddy Bear Campaign

News / Fund Raising

Just two and half years old, Athena has already spent 541 days of her young life in hospital but it hardly shows on the bright-eyed, energetic little girl who has benefited from excellent pediatric care at Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

Born three months prematurely, Athena spent her first days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  A collapsed trachea then sent her and her parents on a long journey toward recovery.  The bright spot, says her dad Pete Cowell, was the amazing care and compassion they experienced at KHSC all along the way.

"The care team in Pediatrics was nothing short of incredible," he says.  "They were like a second family to us.  Anything that we can do to make their job easier is a big win. We just have to look at Athena to know what can happen when things are working well." 

For that reason, Athena and Pete were delighted to return to KHSC on November 13 to help the KGH Auxiliary launch its 2019 Show Children You Care Teddy Bear Campaign to support the purchase of patient care equipment for the pediatric program at KHSC.

The 2019 campaign runs November 13 to December 20 and aims to raise $25,000 through the sponsorship of 250 teddy bears; each can be sponsored for a donation of $100. 

This year’s proceeds will be used to purchase monitors for measuring carbon dioxide levels in a child’s breath, which ensures the care team can more quickly detect and adjust for breathing or ventilation problems.  This is especially critical in children who may have been sedated or given pain medication. 

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 560 is supporting the campaign by covering the cost of the bears, ensuring that all donated funds go directly towards the fundraising goal. 

The campaign also makes a hospital visit more comfortable, says Heather Breck, Chair of the Teddy Bear Campaign, explaining that the sponsored bears are distributed to pediatric departments at the HDH and KGH sites of KHSC.

“Your donation helps children to receive a fuzzy friend when they need one most,” she says.

Every sponsored bear receives a tag acknowledging its donor(s) and takes its place on the bough of the festive trees in the historic Watkins Lobby at KGH. Sponsors receive a charitable receipt upon request and a companion bear as a keepsake, which can be donated back to hospitalized children.

To sponsor a bear, please see our Campaign brochure or contact the KGH Auxiliary at 613-549-6666 ext. 6352.