Firefighters Rob Favel, left, from Beaver Creek VFD, Wendy Stander from Sproat Lake VFD and Lt. Ryan Devries from Cherry Creek VFD accept 75 teddy bears from Port Alberni Toy Run members Robin Klatt, second from left, and Greg Philpott, second from right. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Firefighters Rob Favel, left, from Beaver Creek VFD, Wendy Stander from Sproat Lake VFD and Lt. Ryan Devries from Cherry Creek VFD accept 75 teddy bears from Port Alberni Toy Run members Robin Klatt, second from left, and Greg Philpott, second from right. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Rural fire departments receive Port Alberni Toy Run teddy bears

Bears were purchased and donated back by supporters

A teddy bear soothes anxiety in all sorts of situations—just ask members of the Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake volunteer fire departments.

All three rural departments received a donation of teddy bears from the Port Alberni Toy Run on Dec. 15; the bears will be kept in emergency vehicles to be handed out to children who may find themselves in scary situations.

“If there are children involved in stressful situations, whether it be a motor vehicle incident or fire, we’ll give them the bears to make them smile,” said Wendy Stander from Sproat Lake VFD.

Each volunteer fire department received a bag of 25 bears.

“It makes a big difference to a little kid that’s scared,” said Rob Favel from Beaver Creek VFD.

Toy Run executive came up with the idea to sell the bears when they knew the 2020 Toy Run was going to be adversely affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Volunteers sewed tiny masks on hundreds of bears to give them a 2020 personality.

All the bears donated to rural fire departments have been purchased and donated back to the Toy Run, executive member Robin Klatt said.

Bears have already been distributed to paramedics with BC Ambulance and to the Port Alberni Fire Department.

Toy Run bears are still available for $20 each at Buy-Low Foods on Johnston Road, Camille’s Hair and Beauty Salon on Angus Street and Double R Meats on Third Avenue in Port Alberni, and Weaver’s Leather on Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay, which has already sold 100 bears and asked for 30 more.

“They make perfect stocking stuffers and they’re timely too,” Toy Run chair Dave Wiwchar said.

Teddy bear sales have helped the Toy Run make the same amount of profit it does when a full event weekend runs, “so we’ll be able to make the same donations we usually do,” Wiwchar added.

Although events such as First Night aren’t happening, Wiwchar said the Toy Run will still be contributing to the City of Port Alberni’s Parks, Recreation and Heritage programs “as soon as they get the green light to continue.”

The teddy bear program was so popular this year that they hope to continue in future years, Klatt said. The 2020 bears have miniature hand-sewn masks to commemorate the coronavirus pandemic.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional Districtfirefighters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Barb Kalugin, chair of the Community For Kids Port Alberni Chapter, is presented with a cheque for $832 for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation from Anita Sutherland, Director of Operations and Opportunities with McLean Mill National Historic Site. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
McLean Mill Christmas event raises more than $800 for BC Children’s Hospital

Festival of Trees fundraiser went virtual due to COVID-19

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

On Aug. 26, 1947, a fire sparked in the lumber piles between Alberni Pacific Division sawmill and Alberni Plywood (located where Canal Waterfront Park is now). What resulted was a huge fire on Assembly Wharf One, where several buildings were gutted and stacks of lumber were burned. This photo is one of 24,000 contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN07386 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: 1947 fire destroys Port Alberni wharf

Take a peek into the Alberni Valley’s history with the Alberni Valley Museum

Artist Jim Holyoak’s installation “Quagmire.” Holyoak will be the first speaker for the Artist Talk Online Winter 2021 series. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College Artist Talk goes online for winter 2021

The series invites contemporary Canadian artists to speak about their professional practice

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
City of Port Alberni, ACRD prepare for compost collection in 2021

Roadside pickup is expected to begin in the City of Port Alberni in June 2021

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Most Read