The year was 1987, when I took my 6 year old daughter to the Peoria Zoo. It just happened to be the day the zoo was holding a stuffed animal and safety day at the zoo. There were nurses and zoo workers set up at various learning tables. I thought to myself this kind of thing will work in Quincy too and the Teddy Bear Clinic idea was born. We didn’t have a zoo in Quincy, but we did have the Animal Park at the Illinois Veteran’s Home.  Armed with ideas during my drive back to Quincy, I went to work to make sure this took place in our town.  I contacted Blessing Hospital and they set me up with a meeting with the right people and “The Teddy Bear Clinic” was born.

The first few years were held at the Veteran’s Home Animal Park and then the event moved to Blessing Hospital and eventually to the campus of Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing.

This Sunday I am proud to announce will be the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences 30th Annual Teddy Bear Clinic at Blessing Hospital. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. The event is FREE to attend.

So have the kids bring their teddy bears, stuffed animals and baby dolls to get a “check-up”. They can also participate in fun activities to learn more about how to stay healthy and be safe! The huge "Flo Bear" and "Dorsey Bear" will be there along with the Air Evac Helicopter, a Fire Truck and Ambulance on display for the kids.

This year’s theme is “Lion’s, Tigers and Teddy Bears...Oh My! Let’s Get Wild About Health and Wellness”. Refreshment Services Pepsi and DOT Foods will provide refreshments. The Teddy Bear Clinic will be held in the Blessing Hospital Auditorium. Just enter through the main entrance of Blessing Hospital at 11th & Spring.

Every year at this time my daughter, 30 years after attending the first clinic, reminds me of that day we spent together. It’s one of those Father-Daughter events you will always remember. Why not make a lifetime memory with your kids this Sunday by attending the Teddy Bear Clinic. It'll be a memory maker for you and your child.  I'm living proof of that.