Steve Felde

Twenty-eight years ago I took my 6-year-old daughter to the Peoria Zoo and, as chance would have it, one of the Peoria hospitals was holding a stuffed animal day at the Zoo. Little did I know 28 years later, the idea that I brought back to Quincy would still be flourishing.

I came back to Quincy thinking that this needs to happen in our town too.  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 Quincy. I contacted Blessing Hospital and they set up a meeting with all 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. Every year at this time my daughter, 28 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. She finally was able to make it back with her mom and my grandchildren to attend the Teddy Bear Clinic (see photo). The kids had a wonderful time going from one area to the other.

This year’s FREE event is coming up this Sunday. Children ages three to 6 and their favorite doll or stuffed toy, parents and grandparents are invited to attend this year’s Teddy Bear Clinic on Sunday, October 2, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Auditorium of Blessing Hospital, just inside the main lobby. Those attending should enter through the Hospital’s main door.

The Teddy Bear Clinic is planned and conducted by the Blessing-Rieman Student Nurse Organization (SNO) as part of its community service commitment. The Clinic is designed to help children realize the importance of good health and overcome fears of a health check-up by conducting a check-up on their favorite doll or stuffed toy.  Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing students will interact with each child and their stuffed toy as they use a stethoscope to listen to heart and lungs, apply a bandage to boo-boos and record their toy’s height and weight. Stations will also provide information on safety and poison prevention.

Once again, the huge Flo Bear and Dorsey Bear will be on display as well. In addition, emergency response vehicles are scheduled to be on-site for children to see and Air Evac helicopter tours will be offered, if the helicopter is available. Refreshments will be provided by Refreshment Services Pepsi and DOT Foods.

Parking is available in the parking lot across 11th Street from the main entrance to Blessing Hospital. For more information, contact the College of Nursing at 217-228-5520.

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.