Businesses hosts teddy bear drives for local children

Local businesses are holding public “teddy bear drives” for Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida’s seventh annual Festival of Trees.

ArtFest Fort Myers, GMA Architects and TDM Consulting, Imaginarium Science Center, Kelly Road Self Storage, Puddy n’ Pearl II, Rnells Tuxedos, and Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center are all hosting teddy bear drives for the Festival’s “A Very Beary Christmas” tree.

Goodwill hopes to collect 300 bears by November, in time for the start of the Festival of Trees on Nov. 29 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in the Fort Myers River District.

Goodwill’s bear tree has been a staple of Goodwill’s annual Festival of Trees since the event’s inception in 2006. Made up from bears donated by the community, the tree is one of 25 beautifully decorated trees that are auctioned off at the Festival’s signature event, the Tux & Trees Gala, on Dec. 7.

Last year’s Festival and Gala raised $93,000. In 2012, Goodwill helped 30,000 Southwest Floridians with disabilities and other disadvantages become more independent.

If you are interested in hosting a teddy bear drive, or have new bears that you would like to donate contact Madison Mitchell at (239) 995-2106 ext. 2213. Information: www.tuxandtrees.com.

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