By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – The annual Teddy Bear Fund Drive (TBFD) has adapted to pandemic restrictions in order to raise money for pediatric cancers.
The usual holiday variety show and afternoon fundraising activities were cancelled for logistical reasons; however, the fund drive continues with a post-holiday basket raffle. Local businesses and school organizations donated various items including gift cards, a signed Mitch Keller Pirates jersey, prom tickets, themed baskets, and many other valuable items.
SGA advisor and TBFD organizer Michael Bertig commented, “We did not set an official goal this year due to the pandemic. We will be happy with any amount of money that we can donate to the Teddy Bear Fund Drive, supporting pediatrics at IRMC and UPMC Children’s Hospital.”
Donated items were organized by senior high office secretaries Joyce Shirley and Linda Schwartz. Contactless ticket sales were implemented, and students were able to dictate what baskets they wanted to enter. Tickets were marked and handled by office aide Joann Smith.
“I’d say my favorite part is the variety of items in the raffle,” stated senior Silas Schiera. “You can get anything from a winter equipment basket for your car, to a signed photo of Sr. H and Sr. Murphy. I am also grateful that the money is going to a good cause.”
Senior Class Representatives organized a “Teddy-Gram” event which included sending someone a miniature teddy bear and a message. All proceeds went to the TBFD. Senior class president, Hasan Ali said, “We just aimed to raise as much as we could and spread some happiness.”
In addition to the TBFD events, donations from school organizations were also accepted to support the cause.
“Key Club supported the Teddy Bear Fund Drive this year with a cash donation,” stated senior Key Club President Allie Rutledge.
“Raising money for the TBFD is something I look forward to. I am so thankful that SGA takes this initiative each year and is able to help families who are in need of our assistance. Key Club is happy to support SGA in their fundraising,” concluded Rutledge.
Although safety restrictions have limited this year’s TBFD events, the school community was still able to come together in order to support families in need.
[Photo by Adriana Guth-Borowski]
Photo caption: “Juniors Antonio Bizzaro and Maddie Faulkner check out the items available for the Teddy bear Fund Drive raffle.”
Adriana is a senior and editor in chief during her fourth year of journalism. She enjoys taking journalism classes at IUP and is excited to provide the community with factual news reporting.