This year’s Annual Teddy Bear Party in Dallas collected over 1100 teddy bears for kids in the Children’s Health hospital fighting a wide array of diseases and sicknesses. The teddy bears are gifted to the kiddos before they go into surgery to help explain their procedures to them. After they get out, the bears have the exact same stitches as the kids!
It all started as a small Christmas house party in 2011, where seventy-five friends got together, had a few cocktails and laughs with the intention of spreading some holiday cheer. The annual event originated as a tree trimming party for the first year but transformed into a toy drive for Toys for Tots the following year.
In November 2011, Kaye Hanna, the mother of one of the founder’s, was diagnosed with cancer. In honor of the battle she was just beginning, the event took a different path and was dedicated to her Kaye and a cause she held dear to her heart, children fighting disease. Kaye Hanna lost her short but courageous battle after only four months, but her legacy and spirit live on.
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Unfortunately, each of the founders has lost at least one loved one to cancer, and in memory of all of them, The Teddy Bear Party expanded its list of beneficiaries in 2012 to include not only Children’s Health but also Stand Up 2 Cancer, Family Equality Council, and Equality Texas. In 2017 they added The Trevor Project.
Since its inception, the Teddy Bear Party has donated over 4,800 Teddy bears and $110k to its beneficiaries! Year after year, the Dallas community comes together during the holidays and pays it forward.
Last Saturday, December 8th, attendees including actor Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls’ Aaron Samuels) packed F.I.G. for one of the most recognized Dallas Christmas events. The soiree was hosted by Jaymes Vaughan and featured a performance by Brian Justin Crum and beats by DJ Jeremy Blacklow.
It was an evening full of talent where LGBTQ Dallasites mixed & mingled to celebrate the holiday season all while benefiting incredible organizations and sick children.
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Not just a pretty face