Indiana, PA - Indiana County

INDIANA: Teddy Bear Fund Drive events get under way

by By LORRAINE YERGER, Gazette Student News Reporter on December 20, 2013 11:00 AM

Every year during the last week before Christmas break, the Indiana Area Senior High School Student Government Association sponsors the Teddy Bear Fund Drive.

This event raises money to help hospitalized children.

All collected money helps local hospitals. Eighty percent goes to the Indiana Regional Medical Center Pediatrics Ward, and 20 percent goes to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

[PHOTO:  Student Government Association members at Indiana Area Senior High School, from left, Natalie Cignetti, Nyla Numan and Kylie Horvath, held an ad promoting one of the many fundraising activities for this year’s Teddy Bear Fund Drive. (Blair Ballas/Indiana Area Senior High School)]

“Last year our school raised $5,800 and our goal for this year is to raise $7,000,” says senior Rebecca Hilditch, SGA member. Indiana is one of the many contributors in the county.

This weeks-long event features many activities to help raise money.

Today during school, students will enjoy a low-key but festive Activity Day, where the day is devoted to various types of events that raise both money and awareness of children’s health issues.

These activities require a small fee from the students, the proceeds of which raise a significant portion of Teddy Bear Fund Drive donations.

In the morning, a student/teacher variety show is held in the auditorium, which students can sign up to watch for $3.

During this time, students also can choose to watch a movie or enjoy an open gym.

In the afternoon, teachers host small scale gatherings in their classrooms, while certain clubs convene for a relaxed day of board games and snacks. The cost of afternoon activities is $2.

This year, some new activities are being featured along with popular events from past years.

During most of December, there were bake sales every Friday to help raise money.

Also, during Teddy Bear Fund Drive week, Indiana features a raffle contest, which generally rakes in the most donations.

Throughout the last two weeks of school, donated prizes are displayed in the upper commons.

Teachers and students can buy raffle tickets and try to win prizes such as gift cards, candy baskets and even an autographed Penguins jersey.

The Teddy Bear Fund Drive is coordinated by Renda Broadcasting of Indiana, and every school in the district contributes.

Last year, Indiana was honored as the top donating school out of local participants.

SGA asked clubs, sports teams, or other organizations to consider adding the Teddy Bear Fund Drive to their efforts this month.

All organizations that participate will be recognized on a large poster in the upper commons.

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