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These bears help kids with the unbearable

This is a portion of a group of kids at Skateland in Bremerton on Sunday afternoon who took part in “The Great Teddy Bear Rally.”  About 80 bears were collected to give to children affected by tragedy or unfortunate stress.  The bears will be shared between local fire departments, the Sheriff’s Office and the local YWCA Alive Shelter for distribution. - Photo by Jesse Beals
This is a portion of a group of kids at Skateland in Bremerton on Sunday afternoon who took part in “The Great Teddy Bear Rally.” About 80 bears were collected to give to children affected by tragedy or unfortunate stress. The bears will be shared between local fire departments, the Sheriff’s Office and the local YWCA Alive Shelter for distribution.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The second annual Great Teddy Bear Rally at Skateland on Sunday was a roaring success.

“We collected 80 bears this year,” said Teresa Ryan, spokeswoman for CK District 401 of the PTA. “We’ll split the bears between firefighters, the Sheriff and Alive Shelters.”

The rally was organized by the PTA. The bears are kept in the trunks of deputies’ squad cars and compartments of fire trucks to be given to small children who’ve been involved in something traumatic, such as the arrest of a family member or house fire. The bears are given to children at Alive Shelters, where moms and kids stay when they are victims of domestic violence.

Last year, many bears were shipped to New York for children affected by Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism.

Ryan said this year’s rally collected 20 more bears than last year.

“This is really the kick-off to the big drive in May in which about 20 CK schools collect teddy bears for the same reasons,” she said. Last year, the May drive collected 1,500 bears.

At Skateland, it cost nothing to get in, so long as you had a bear to donate.

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