25th Annual Children's Caravan Teddy Bear Ride

This is the Silver Anniversary Ride that occurs annually on the 3rd Sunday of September. It was initiated in 1994 by Penny Martin for her son David, eight at the time, who had been a patient at Akron Children's Hospital since he was 2 months old. He witnessed a similar ride in Cleveland & wanted one for his hospital. To him, it's "the best event ever!" It means the world to him because he knows how a new toy for a sick child "can change a person's perspective on life."

Statistically the main hospital treats approximately 550K kids once or more a year throughout 23 counties and even into PA and WV. This doesn't include the 63 satellite offices in northeast OH. In 2018 the Teddy Bear Ride collected an estimated 80K toys, which filled a semi-tractor trailer and were consumed through Feb/Mar 2019.

Penny says toys provide comfort and are calming to children when mom & dad aren't around. Her dream for 2019 is to collect 250K bears/toys in addition to $25K in donations to go to the child life centers, which are safe places in the hospitals where doctors are restricted to enable kids to have fun aside from their health care. The monetary donations go toward new toys, games, etc. to increase the happiness of the kids, young adults, and burn center victims.

More info HERE

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