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ROTARY CLUB NEWS: Rotary to continue Kiwanis Teddy Bear Picnic

January 26, 2018
By MARTHA SPEAR - Lake Placid Rotary Club , Lake Placid News

When the Lake Placid Kiwanis Club announced it was disbanding last fall, the Rotary Club of Lake Placid immediately began discussions how it could continue to help keep the much loved "Teddy Bear Picnic" children's community event going.

Cynthia "Cindy" DeMars, vice president and branch manager of the Adirondack Bank in Lake Placid and a member of the Lake Placid Rotary Club, stepped up to volunteer to work with former Kiwanis President Kelly Conway and the community on leading this year's Teddy Bear Picnic in the fall.

The Teddy Bear Picnic is an annual event where children from Lake Placid and surrounding towns come to Teddy Bear Park on Hillcrest Avenue and celebrate teddy bears while playing in the park and eating hot dogs, burgers and ice cream.

Article Photos

Cynthia “Cindy” DeMars

"One of the things that I am really excited about is that I was a Kiwanian 10 years ago in Saranac Lake, so I really appreciate and understand Kiwanis and what it stands for," DeMars said. "Another great thing is that there is a group of local people who have been running this event for about 25 years, and they know exactly what needs to be done to have a successful picnic for the children. I am open to advice on how Rotary can help."

The Kiwanis Club of Lake Placid first introduced its Teddy Bear Picnic children's festival in 1993 at the Hillcrest Village Park, now known as the Kiwanis Teddy Bear Park. Organizers are proud to say they've "raised a generation" of children in the past 21 years."

The event traditionally comprises a Bear Store, crafts, face painting, a parade and lots of teddy bears. Children are encouraged to decorate their bears and floats. The Teddy Bear Picnic was first conceived as a free community service project, not as a fundraiser, and it still remains so with no fee for admission or services.

"We're hoping that the Lake Placid Rotary Club can continue the Kiwanis Club's mission to benefit children, while the club takes a break for a few years," DeMars said. "We're optimistic that Kiwanis will come back in time to continue its extremely important mission."

(Martha Spear is the president of the Rotary Club of Lake Placid.)

 
 

 

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