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Teddy bears raise funds for school

TERI VANCE

When it comes to fund-raising, teachers at Seeliger Elementary School are going beyond the “bear” essentials.

“We’re trying to find a way to raise money without it being additional funds out of a parent’s pocket,” said third-grade teacher Cathy Wendell. “People are going to be buying Christmas presents anyway.”

For a personalized Christmas gift, people can choose from a variety of 20 Teddy Bears created by teachers and staff at the school.

One, “Patriotic Patty,” is dressed in a red-white-and-blue sweater and waves an American flag. “Beary Potter” is dressed as a wizard and “Race to the Bottom Bear” is bundled up in winter wear, holding a pair of skis.

“They’re all pretty doggone cute,” said Principal Laurel Terry. “They just get cuter every year. And it goes for a good cause.”

Her favorite this year is a bear sitting at a desk with the nameplate “Mrs. Terry.”

This is the third year the school has sold the bears to raise money for two $800 scholarships awarded to Seeliger alumni as they graduate from high school.

Wendell has made a bear each year.

“I always do a girly, girly, girly bear,” she said, pointing to this year’s “Christmas Queen” decked out in a regal gown accompanied by a smaller “Prince Noel.”

But it can turn into a bear-eat-bear world as the decorating begins.

“We love making them,” Wendell said. “It gets really competitive among the teachers. We don’t even tell each other what we’re working on.”

This year, she and second-grade teacher Matthew Conrardy are in a battle to see who’s bear brings in the most.

Conrardy’s bear, “Fisher Bear,” is wearing a yellow slicker and hat and is toting a fishing pole.

Ballots for the silent auction will be accepted in the lobby of the school until Tuesday. There is a $10 minimum bid on single bears and $15 minimum for more than one in a set.

Bears sell anywhere from $10 to $100.

Contact Teri Vance at 881-1272 or tvance@nevadaappeal.com