Along with all the other nonprofits in the tri-counties, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation learned how to be flexible in its event planning and fundraising over the past two years.
Redeveloping signature events and moving them outside during the pandemic resulted in TBCF’s newest event: the Teddy Bear Picnic.
Last year’s picnic was designed as a response to ever-changing COVID-19 protocols around gatherings and events. Thus the TBCF staff and committee organized a family-friendly outdoor picnic with safety, fun and the foundation’s mission in mind. The event was such a success that the decision was made to turn the picnic into one of TBCF’s two annual events.
TBCF will host the second annual Teddy Bear Picnic from 1 to 4 p.m. May 15 at the Montecito Club, 920 Summit Road in Montecito.
Tickets are $125 per guest. (Children are free if registered with an adult by April 30, and the price is $25 thereafter.) Guests will be treated to a buffet lunch with dessert and wine. Tickets are available at teddybearcancerfoundation.org/picnic.
Activities will include a competitive cornhole tournament; lawn games such as bocce, oversized Connect Four and Jenga; a sledding hill; kids’ sack races and more. Other activities will include tarot card readings, face painters and music by Josh Jenkins.
Co-chairing the Teddy Bear Picnic are Maria Wilson and Sofie Langhorne, both of whom sit on TBCF’s board of directors and are event sponsors.
“I’m so happy we’re back again at this gorgeous location,” said Ms. Langhorne. “We’re planning to make this year’s picnic bigger and more heartfelt.”
Other event sponsors are Ergomotion, the Stanley Family, Anonymous, Tom and Charmaine Rogers, Johnny Griggs, Charles and Sofie Langhorne, Debby Mann, Drs. Jon and Karen Tammela, Monte and Maria Wilson, Arlington Financial Services, Wells Hugher, Bob Holzer Towing, Tim and Lisa Couch, Phil Hons, Joe McCorkell at Sotheby’s International Realty, J.P.Morgan Private Bank-Sarai Anderson and Elizabeth & Peter Nordblad.
Committee members planning the event are Sarai Anderson, Andrea Godinez, Jamie Hansen, Harold Karsenty, Lucy Kohansamad, Lado and Mirjana Ladomery, Debby Mann, Andrew and Giana Miller, Debbie Neer, Fe Peres, Susie Perry, Brittany Rice and Deborah Stanley.
The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s mission is to advocate for families living in the tri-counties who have a child with cancer by providing financial, emotional and educational support.
In 2021, TBCF gave significantly more financial support to families due to a generous holiday donation allowing the foundation to disperse $250 gas cards and $250 grocery gift cards to families who were in immediate need of support. This support was in addition to the regular funding offered by TBCF.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to make those phone calls right before Christmas,” said Tessa Boyce, TBCF’s community engagement manager, “The holidays are stressful enough without cancer and to be able to give our families this unexpected gift was so meaningful to all of us.”
The 2021 year included the implementation of two new programs directly benefiting TBCF families. The first rounds of funding from TBCF’s new Bone Marrow Fund were disbursed to five families last year, providing additional relief for those facing the cost of a bone marrow transplant.
Also new in 2021 was the expansion of the tutoring program to include siblings into the Educational Advocacy program was at the request of the families served.
Since 2002 TBCF has provided well over $2,200,000 to families through direct financial aid.
Additionally, TBCF provides emotional support groups for parents, children and teens in both English and Spanish. Its educational advocacy program assists children who are re-entering the school system by offering tutoring for up to $2,000 and neuropsychological assessments.
For more information about all of the services offered by TBCF, visit teddybearcancerfoundation.org. For more information about the Teddy Bear Picnic, contact Kirsten Stuart at 805-308-9943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.