Jason Hanna and Joe Riggs say it started as a simple initiative between friends in 2009. It started as a tree decorating party for the first year but transformed into a toy drive for Toys for Tots the year after that.
As they entered their third year, Hanna’s mom was diagnosed with cancer. In honor of the battle she was just beginning, the event took a turn. They started dedicating the event to her and a cause that was so important to her, children fighting disease. The third annual Christmas party was a teddy bear drive benefitting children in the hospital fighting a variety of diseases and sicknesses.
The Teddy Bear Party was a small Christmas party of 75 friends getting together over cocktails, laughs and a goal of spreading holiday cheer.
Now, the organization hosts a public event where the community can come out and donate. This year, they collected 3,000 stuffed bears to give to children in the hospital.
According to the organization’s Facebook page, The Teddy Bear Party expanded its list of beneficiaries in 2012 to include not only Children’s Medical Center but also Stand Up 2 Cancer, Family Equality Council, and Equality Texas. These organizations were selected as they all have significant meaning to Kaye: Children, Family, and Fighting a disease which has impacted us all. Since 2011, TBP has donated over 7,000 teddy bears and $300k to its beneficiaries!
Year after year, our community comes together during the holidays and pays it forward. Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to this year's event!