The 25th annual Teddy Bear Clinic was held on Sunday, October 6 at Quincy's Blessing Hospital. Youngsters from all over the area brought their favorite teddy bears, stuffed animals or dolls and went through the health stations set up by the student nurses of Blessing Rieman College of Nursing. Hundreds of kids with smiling faces made their way through the Blessing Hospital doors to the Clinic.

As I was getting ready to broadcast from the event, I couldn't help but reflect on how this event got started. Twenty six years ago, my daughter wanted to go to the Peoria Zoo where a local hospital was sponsoring a "kids day" at the zoo and thus the idea was conceived to bring this kind of event to Quincy.

I told my daughter about the great turnout this year and she reponded how she remembered bringing her large black teddy bear with her to the first Teddy Bear Clinic. The very first one in Quincy was held at the Illinois Veteran's Home Deer Park. The lines were long but the youngsters didn't seem to mind as they watched the deer while they waited. The kids were smiling then and they were smiling again this year.

I will always remember my daughter's smile on her face with her nurse's cap on her head. What a great memory. It was truly a father- daughter memory that no one will ever be able to take away from me. Those kids with their parents alongside made their own memories on October 6. Memories that those children and their parents will remember forever.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the following. Yesterday I was reading my Sunday Quincy Herald Whig and as I turned one of the pages there was an ad thanking me for my involvement over the past 25 years with the Teddy Bear Clinic. I appreciate the kindness of those involved with doing that, but the real thanks goes to the students and staff of Blessing Rieman College of Nursing who have carried on this wonderful tradition and to all of the parents who have brought their children to the event over the years. Thank you again. Be healthy and we will see you next year.