Tahoe nonprofit hosts successful Teddy Bear Picnic | SierraSun.com

Tahoe nonprofit hosts successful Teddy Bear Picnic

Special to the Bonanza

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — On May 22, many local families and visitors gathered at Aspen Grove for Tahoe's Connection for Families' sixth annual Tahoe Teddy Bear Picnic. Sunshine and warmer weather greeted guests after gray clouds had filled the sky earlier that week.

"We are so grateful the sun was shining so families could do things they love — get outside and enjoy time with family and friends," shared Kim Holscher, chair of this year's event. "All worries about the weather washed away as almost 300 guests and volunteers joined TCF's annual fundraiser. We had lncline locals and guests from as far as Tennessee; there were infants to grandparents. It was an amazing gathering!"

For the sixth consecutive year, veteran and new volunteers joined efforts to transform Aspen Grove into a kid's dream. Picnic tables became stations with awesome, engaging activities and teddy bears rested against trees, sat at tables, and filled the arms of the young guests.

Children were able to take their bears to a doctor and dentist for a check-up, celebrate bear birthdays at a Birthday Paw-ty while decorating cupcakes, and become super heroes, complete with capes.

Bears and children also visited the bounce house, painted bears, did yoga, enjoyed playhouses and a construction sight, and had faces painted.

"The event wouldn't be possible without the generosity and efforts from our sponsors, community donors, and team of volunteers," said TCF Associate Director Emma Healy. "Our TCF family really looks forward to this event each year and it's always rewarding to see all the children enjoying so many activities!"

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The event was a celebration of our families with young children, bears, and our community. Amazing volunteers, dedicated staff, and the collaboration and support of community organizations made the event what it was!

"It wasn't only adults volunteering at the event. Girls on the Run from Incline Elementary School came, in addition to volunteers from the middle and high school." TCF Founder Laurean Meyer stated. "It is always powerful seeing so many individuals get involved to make sure everyone has fun! It truly took a village to make the Tahoe Teddy Bear Picnic a success. We are grateful for our amazing community!"

A special thank you goes out to all our sponsors: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe School, Tahoe Expedition Academy, Meyer Construction, Realtor Grant C. Meyer, Truckee Pediatric Dentistry, Easel and Wine, Peanut Butter & Jellyfish, Bear League, Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS), Incline Village Urgent Care, Starkey's Food Truck, IVGID Waste Not, and Xtropy Web Design.

Additional thanks goes to Mark Sexton who provided the live tunes and Sarah Morrow and Agui McFadzen who painted many young faces.

All proceeds from the event benefited the nonprofit Tahoe's Connection for Families, which provided this article. For more information call 775-832-8230 or visit http://www.tcfkids.org.