The Lois Hoskins Memorial Hug-A-Bear drive at Whittier Elementary School in Brainerd netted about 500 donated teddy bears to help comfort children in crisis.
The drive, which ended Thursday, will become an annual event that honors the late Lois Hoskins, a longtime Whittier media secretary who lost her battle with cancer a year ago.
Hoskins loved teddy bears and was an avid teddy bear collector. One of her final requests was that people bring teddy bears to her funeral, instead of donating flowers. The bears were donated to area law enforcement and emergency personnel and given to children in crisis situations.
Susan Polipnick, an administrative assistant at Whittier, said many former Whittier and Garfield Elementary School students and their parents stopped by the school in recent weeks to drop off donated teddy bears because they knew Hoskins. Many other donors didn't know her but were touched by her story in the Dec. 9 Dispatch.
"We want to thank the community," said Polipnick. "They've responded in such a generous way."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.