Photos by Bruce Adler
Teddy bears were given to all of those who attended as a souvenir of the occasion.
BY TRONE DOWD
Officers with the 113th Precinct celebrated their fourth annual Teddy Bear Give Back celebration on Saturday. This feel-good occasion took place at the Radisson Hotel in Jamaica.
At this now yearly tradition, officers join forces with local organizations to give those afflicted with cerebral palsy a chance to have a day full of fun, laughter and memories that will last a lifetime. As community affairs Detective Tanya Duhaney told the PRESS of Southeast Queens, many men and women who suffer from this condition do not get a chance to have experiences like this on a regular basis.
According to Duhaney and her fellow Community Affairs officer Dorrin Ferguson, the idea for this event came about four years ago when the two visited the United Cerebral Palsy Group Home located at 110-35 164th St. off Guy R. Brewer Boulevard.
“We used to do weekly visits there,” Duhaney said. “We realized that around the holiday time, we would like to spend the holidays with them at the home. People at the home said that it would be lovely to do something like that.”
According to Duhaney, many of the residents of the group home don’t leave to visit family. Many of them are accompanied by staff thoughout the holiday season. It was from that point on, that members of the 113th decided to step up and spread holiday cheer to those less fortunate.
“We did our first event at the group home, which we outgrow in the first year,” Duhaney said proudly. “Ever since then it’s been at the Radisson.”
The Radisson is no stranger to events held by the 113th. Once every two to three months, officers gather at the hotel to meet with the community at their traditional Coffee with a Cop event.
As part of the festivities, officers and Greater Southeast Queens organizations like the Jamaica Rotary and Costco bring food and drinks; patrons play musical chairs; t-shirts are given out; and an awards ceremony is held thanking the staff and those at the forefront of helping the community. Also, as the name of the event implies, all cerebral palsy patients are given a teddy bear to keep. Ferguson told the PRESS of Southeast Queens that teddy bears were chosen because those suffering from the condition need something soft.
“They don’t really get to go anywhere throughout the year,” Ferguson said. “This is why they look forward to this the way they do.”
Duhaney said that they are proud that this event has become as successful as it has.
“This is what it’s about. This is what we want to do,” Duhaney said. “We want to be that change.”