In partnership with the Rough Riders of Tampa Bay, Westfield Brandon has been collecting Teddy Bears for delivery to children in local hospitals throughout the holiday season. The effort is in partnerhsip as well with News Channel 8, i support of the John Winter Memorial Teddy Bear Round-Up.
New, unwrapped Teddy bears will be collected at the Westfield Brandon concierge station through Dec. 24.
The Rough Riders visit area hospitals on a regular basis. During their so-called "Teddy Bear Runs," club members "bring cheer to sick and injured children" and showe kids "with attention that includes parade beads, Teddy Roosevelt coins and cuddly Teddy bears," according to a notice on the Web site for Rough Riders of Tampa Bay.
The service and social club was formed to create and perpetuate "a living memorial to the unique accomplishment of President Theodore Roosevelt and the members of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment known as the 'Rough Riders'."
Roosevelt is credited with being the namesake of the Teddy bear. According to the History.com, toy store owner and inventor Morris Michtom on Feb. 15, 1903 placed two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears.\
"Michtom had earlier petitioned President Theodore Roosevelt for permission to use his nickname, Teddy," accoring to the History.com post. "The president agreed and, before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom's stuffed bears, which soon became a national childhood institution."