Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser has best year ever

In 2020, the M.V. Teddy Bear Suite raised $49,852, the largest fundraising total in the 10-year history of the event. — Courtesy Point B Realty

Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite organizers announced that the popular holiday fundraiser has raised almost $50,000 for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.

In a year that held a number of unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, a press release states, the annual event raised $49,852, the largest fundraising total in the 10-year history of the Teddy Bear Suite. To date, more than $265,000 has been raised for the Boys & Girls Club and its afterschool food program, Healthy Happy Kids (H2K).

“We are very appreciative and humbled by the generosity shown by so many in these challenging times,” Wendy Harman, Teddy Bear Suite founder, and owner/principal broker of Point B Realty, said in the release. “All the money raised goes directly to support the Healthy Happy Kids, and this will cover the entire cost of the program for a year.”

H2K provides hundreds of elementary school-aged children with free, healthy snacks and meals, including food to take home. Though not at capacity due to COVID-19, the club is serving a number of Island children, and gearing up for the return of many more.

For 2020, the Teddy Bear Suite had to pivot and create a new way for people to experience the magic of the seasonal Teddy Bear Suite. Teddies Around Town debuted as a new holiday scavenger hunt in partnership with the Edgartown Board of Trade and 30 Edgartown businesses. For three weekends, children of all ages went on an epic search for bears hidden in local business windows, helping keep the event outdoors and physically distanced.

In addition to Teddies Around Town, funds were raised from the 6th Annual Teddy Bear Trot, but the majority of the monies raised came from online donations through the M.V. Teddy Bear Suite website, mvteddybearsuite.com/.

According to the press release, the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite was voted runner up for Best Charity Event for Martha’s Vineyard 2020 in the annual Best of The Vineyard awards.