Teddy Bear Convoy Looks to Drive Up Donations

by Michael Brown

The Teddy Bear Convoy hopes to raise $20,000 for Newfoundland’s only children’s hospital.

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Telethon, trucks, teddy bears. These are the keywords in an upcoming fundraising event to benefit Newfoundland and Labrador’s only children’s hospital.

The Just for Kids Transportation Group is a collection of local truckers who have taken it upon themselves to help raise money for the Janeway Children’s Hospital. 

The event is called The Teddy Bear Convoy.

Last year, the group raised $18,000, but this year they’re hoping to do even better.

“[This year] we’re looking to exceed it,” says Gerry Dowden, owner of East Can Transport and a member of the Teddy Bear Convoy. “Our goal is $20,000 and last year we were a little late getting off the mark and we were able to collect $18,000.

“So we’re thinking that this year’s organization and the publicity that we’re trying to get out there, we’re hoping to exceed that.”

The event was started by community member and fellow trucker Jon Summers over a decade ago. In that time, the convoy has raised $250,000 for Janeway.

“His initial approach was just to approach [truck] drivers and get them involved, but that kind of mushroomed out to the companies that the truck drivers worked for,” says Dowden.

Approximately 40 trucks will drive up to Janeway on June 2 and provide the hospital with the cheque. It will kick off Janeway’s annual telethon, which last year raised $2.5 million.

After the convoy, members of Just for Kids will reconvene for a celebratory barbeque.

For more information and to support the cause, contact either Jon Summers, jonsummers20@hotmail.com, or Gerry Dowden, gerry.dowden@eastcantrans.com.

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