With fingers crossed and the governor’s projection of a June 15 reopening date for California, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) is planning its first in-person event in more than a year — the Teddy Bear Picnic on Saturday, June 26.
Like other local nonprofits in 2020, TBCF canceled fundraisers, held a virtual event and pivoted at every turn, all while providing the most support in its 19-year history.
The Teddy Bear Picnic lunch will be held on the upper lawn of the reopened Montecito Club. Tickets are $200 for two guests. Each couple will receive a parasol, and picnic blanket on which to enjoy a meal of paninis, salads, wine, snacks and dessert.
Activities include croquet, bocce, corn hole, horseshoes, balloon artists and music. Also available via Montecito Club are a sledding hill, pickleball, basketball and volleyball.
Tickets are available at TeddyBearCancerFoundation.org/Events. A limited number of tickets will be sold to ensure safe social distancing.
Co-chairing the Teddy Bear Picnic are Maria Wilson and Sofie Langhorne, who sit on TBCF’s Board of Directors and are event sponsors. Ginni Dreier will serve as honorary chair. The event committee includes Matt Fish, Jamie Hansen, Sheela Hunt, Maria Long, Debbie Neer and Tara Zanecki.
Additional event sponsors include Mad Fitness and Drs. Jon and Karen Tammela.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to host a safe in-person event again,” Wilson said. “We’ve really missed this. Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation supporters have been wonderful this past year, and we can’t wait to thank them in person.”
In 2020 TBCF reduced its operating budget in response to the pandemic; however, the need for services significantly increased.
“Our supporters and donors really came through for our families last year with gift cards, grocery card, deliveries, financial support, and increased volunteerism,” Langhorne said. “It was really inspiring,”
Despite the reduced budget, TBCF was able to continue to serve every family that requested support.
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation advocates for families living in the tri-counties who have a child with cancer by providing financial, emotional and educational support. Since 2002 TBCF has provided some $2 million to families through direct financial aid.
Additionally, TBCF provides emotional support groups for parents, children and teens in English and Spanish. The TBCF program assists children who are re-entering the school system by offering post-chemo tutoring and neuropsychological assessments.
For more information about TBCF services, visit TeddyBearCancerFoundation.org.