Kids and others will have a chance to create their own stuffed animal when a new Build-A-Buddy fundraiser is held Saturday at the Highland County Senior Citizens Center in Hillsboro.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is a joint project between Highland County Toys For Tots and the senior center. Proceeds will be split 50/50 between the two organizations.
“We were trying to think of something that kids would come to and kids love stuffed animals, no matter what,” said Wade Hamilton, who directs the Toys For Tots program in Highland and Fayette counties. “Things like Build-A-Bear are a big craze right now, so we thought we’d try to have something similar to that locally.”
The deadline to make a reservation for the event has already passed, but Hamilton said a limited number of stuffed animals will be available at the door on Saturday.
Those who made reservations were able to select their choice of a 15-inch tall stuffed teddy bear, cow, horse, frog, lion or snowman. He said all those options may not be available to those that do not have reservations.
Those who made a reservation were given an appointment time to pick up their animal. When they arrive at the senior center a wrist band will be placed on their arm and the arm of their stuffed animal, “so they never get separated in the making process.” Then they will go to different stations where the stuffed animal will be named, get stuffed, where it gets a heart, and where it gets vaccinations and a birth certificate. After that the stuffed animal owner will receive a box with handles that they can color and write a name on. The box will serve as carrying crate to take their “buddy” home in.
A wildlife officer from Rocky Fork State Park will also be at the event, Hamilton said, handing out fun wildlife facts.
Hamilton said that because some people will have reservations, those without them will be sent through the line as time and space allows.
The cost is $12 per stuffed animal.
“We’re going to try to have families in and out of the door in 20 minutes,” Hamilton said. “We know there are a lot of other activities in the county this weekend, so we’re trying not to tread on anyone else.”
For more information call the Samaritan Outreach at 937-393-2220 or the senior center at 937-393-4745.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.