Organization wants to make life bear-able for children in distress

Grapevine Courier

GRAPEVINE - There were no lions and tigers, but plenty of bears.

Teddy bears, that is.

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of Meeting Professionals International hosted a teddy bear drive during its two-day retreat at Great Wolf Lodge. More than 100 stuffed animals were collected and will be donated to the Grapevine Police and Fire Departments.

Meeting Professionals is an organization involved in event planning, including festivals, parties, concerts and conventions.

The teddy bear drive was designed to collect as many teddy bears as possible in celebration of Teddy Bear Day on Sept. 9

Police, fire and emergency officials say giving a teddy bear to a child during a crisis stabilizes and calms them. Many organizations choose the annual Teddy Bear Day to distribute teddy bears to emergency officials throughout the United States.

Police Sgt. Dale Roath said additional teddy bears are handed out through the department's Santa Cops program, in which officers deliver toys, to needy children during the Christmas holidays.

The annual retreat is designed to provide continuing education to more than 100 senior level meeting professionals in the North Texas area. The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter's theme of "Activate your Goodness" complemented the teddy bear program. Representative say it supports the chapter's goal to give back.

"This is why the charity seemed to make sense for us to include as part of the Camp Wisdom experience," said Sandi Galloway, co-chair of the educational retreat.

Marty Sabota. 817-390-7367

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