More than 1,000 furry animal friends were distributed to youths as part of San Antonio Regional Hospital’s teddy bear clinic at last year’s free All Things Kids Expo.
Cathy Rebman, assistant vice president of business development and community outreach for the hospital, said the clinic was designed to help reduce children’s fears about going to the hospital and medical care in general.
“Basically, we do little mock fractures,” Rebman said of the procedure where they wrap the bear as if it as going to the emergency room. “It’s designed to reduce the fear of going to the hospital. We have miniature teddy bears we give to the children. It’s first come, first serve and we bring a lot.”
The All Things Kids Expo, hosted by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin online and print publication in Rancho Cucamonga, is set for Saturday at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
Now in its sixth year, the cultural center based event runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
“This is one of the few events that are targeting children and their parents,” Rebman said. “We appreciate the opportunity to be a presenting sponsor of the event geared toward improving the health of children in our community.”
James Scheu, community health specialist for the hospital, worked in the booth last year with the teddy bear clinic. He said the age of the child determined their level of engagement in the 3-5 minute presentation.
“We allow the child to come up with ideas of what’s wrong with the teddy bear,” Scheu said. “So we can work together with the child and us and volunteers to help solve ‘teddy bear issues.’ It’s a little bit of make believe but we try to make it fun and realistic for the children.”
Curt Annett, a multi-media account executive for the Southern California News Group (which includes the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin), has been involved with the expo from the start and is the emcee.
“It’s still going strong,” Annett said, adding that an open mic for children would take place for the first time ever.
“We are looking for people who feel they have a talent,” Annett said. “Maybe belt out a song or play drums. It’s something new.”
Julie Corlette, events manager for the Expo, said the open mic was geared for children age 3-16 who can perform for a maximum of three minutes with a sign-up starting at 9:30 a.m. the day of the Expo. She added there are 30 spots throughout the day on a first come, first serve basis.
Other events featured at the Expo are the scavenger hunt (where kids go to vendor booths to obtain a stamp), face painting, a California Highway Patrol car that youths can sit in, temporary tattoos, hula hoop contests, demonstrations and informative sessions, Corlette said.
Exhibitors include various dentists, schools, theme parks, home improvement businesses and more, Corlette said.
Additionally, a popular exhibit last year was one called “draw your dad” where youths get a blank piece of paper and produce an image of their father, or if he’s not there, “imagine him in your mind,” Annett said.
“It’s the cutest thing,” Annett said, adding a panel later selects a winner and semi-finalists that run in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspaper on Father’s Day.
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