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50,000 and Counting

UCH Pediatric Care Center and the Glazer Family Foundation celebrate the ‘Cheering You On’ program as it distributes its 50,000th teddy bear to an ailing child


The Glazer Family Foundation's 'Cheering You On' Program gave away its 50,001st and 50,002nd teddy bears on Tuesday

The Glazer Family Foundation, the charitable arm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, today gave away its 50,001 and 50,002 Buccaneers Bears at University Community Health Pediatric Care Center. Children were treated to building their own Buccaneers teddy bear, pizza, cake and refreshments. The event was held to celebrate the two-year old "Cheering You On" teddy bear hospital program.

The "Cheering You On" program distributes Buccaneers teddy bears and activity books to every pediatric patient admitted to five Tampa Bay area hospitals and two hospitals in Orlando. Approximately 20,000 patients from infancy to age 21 are admitted annually into hospitals in the Bay area region.

"We hoped that by having a teddy bear as a companion and an activity book to keep them busy, it has made the children's experience in the hospital a little easier," said Joel Glazer, Executive Vice President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "We hope the teddy bears have brought smiles to the faces of hospitalized children and helped make their stays more bearable."

The happy faces at the UCH center on Tuesday validated that hope.

"Even extremely ill children love receiving the teddy bears," says James P. Orlowski, Director of the Pediatric Care Center. "The bears bring a twinkle to their eye and a smile to their face. When my colleagues or I visit children, they are usually clutching the bears."

The Pediatric Care Center is one of six centers of excellence at University Community Hospital. Together with UCH-Carrollwood, Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital in Tarpon Springs, and Sun Coast Hospital in Largo, the four facilities comprise the University Community Health Network serving Tampa Bay. UCH is the official healthcare provider of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In its third year of existence, the Foundation has donated more than $1 million in grants, tickets and merchandise. Some of these include donating $125,000 to the NFL Youth Education Town (YET) for a youth football field in East Tampa; purchasing 1,000 uniforms for the Boy Scouts of America; and contributing $300,000 to the Tampa Bay Sports Commission to promote amateur sports.

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