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Company donates 'beary' special gifts to hospital

April 28, 2005|by JANET HEIM

janeth@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Thanks to the generosity of local Bon-Ton customers, the company donated 75 plush bears through its Bears That Care program to Washington County Hospital. The Herald Bears, an exclusive bear made by Ty Inc., maker of Beanie Babies, have soft white fur with white glittered wings.

During the 2004 holiday season, Bon-Ton sold an exclusive Beanie Baby named Star. The proceeds went to Bears That Care, an ongoing program that supports distribution of bears to pediatric patients and children in need.

The Herald Bears were presented to Sandy Pollack, executive director, and Danni Lyles, donor relations, of Antietam Healthcare Foundation, a subsidiary of Washington County Health System Inc. The bears will be given to children at the Teddy Bear Clinic on the last day of the Festival of Trees in December.

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Pollack said the Teddy Bear Clinic offers children in the community an opportunity to learn about health-related issues - such as dental care, hygiene, how not to spread germs and childhood obesity - through their teddy bears.

Children are invited to bring their own teddy bears for repair by local seamstresses and there will be face painting and crafts, as well.

"It has such a broad reach to children in the community," she said.

Last year was the inaugural year for Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for the establishment of a Level Two nursery at Washington County Hospital. The pediatric nursery, which would treat premature babies or newborns born with medical complications, is scheduled to open in the fall.

More than 1,500 people attended the festival, Pollack said, with several hundred children attending the Teddy Bear Clinic.

"What we do is an outreach program," said Bon-Ton General Manager Jim McFaul. "You take your program out of the hospital - it's outreach, too. Anything for kids, we're there in a heartbeat."

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