INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- More than 3,500 stuffed animals were collected in the Teddy Bear Challenge, an annual collection effort spearheaded by the IndyBar Paralegal Executive Committee. The stuffed animals are donated to the "Bears on Patrol" program of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indianapolis Fire Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Department.
According to www.indy.gov, "the Bears on Patrol program is designed to reduce the trauma suffered by children who are exposed to violence, abuse, or other upsetting incidents. Patrol officers are issued new, plush teddy bears that they carry with them while on patrol. As officers encounter children who are victims of traumatic incidents, they give bears to them. Officers report that the bears have been valuable to them in comforting upset children."
The final tally for the 2010 Teddy Bear Challenge was 3,552 stuffed animals. Local law firms were encouraged to compete with one another in collecting donations for the program. Bose McKinney & Evans LLP won the award for most bears collected with 2,054 donated, while Frost Brown Todd LLC won the award for most bears per employee donated with 4.75 per employee.
The Teddy Bear Challenge, which began in early fall, culminated in the annual IndyBar Paralegal Holiday Luncheon, where the final tally and award winners were announced. Representatives from the IMPD, IFD and Sheriff's Department, including Sheriff Elect John Layton, attended the luncheon and made remarks about the important role that the program plays in comforting children.