What's in a name?
When it comes to the iconic teddy bears of the Glazer Family Foundation's "Cheering You On!" program, hopefully it is something that evokes the same emotional responses as the bears themselves – fun and familiarity, comfort and control.
What's the perfect name to do that? You can help us decide, and potentially win a fantastic Buccaneers VIP game experience at the same time.
The Glazer Family Foundation's "Name the Bears" Sweepstakes is heading into its final stage, and by next week the male and female "Cheering You On!" teddy bears will have names for the first time since the program began more than a decade ago. Fittingly, each bear will have a name conjured by children and their families, who have been nominating possibilities on the Foundation's web site since June 24.
From those nominations, five finalists have been chosen for each bear. And beginning right now, you can vote for your favorite choices on the Glazer Family Foundation's Facebook page. The poll will remain open throughout the month, with votes accepted until 11:59 p.m. on September 30.
The female teddy bear is clad in a pink cheerleader's dress with a pink bow on her head. The five name options for her are:
- Pom Pom
The male teddy bear boasts a red-and-black Buccaneers outfit and will soon have one of the five following names:
The final choices are up to you. And that's not the only reason to head over to the Foundation's home on Facebook and get involved. Simply by casting a vote in the final name-selection poll, you will be entered to win that exciting VIP experience at a Buccaneers game. Every person who entered a name in the first stage of the sweepstakes has already been entered as well, and there will be a total of 10 VIP winners.
Sweepstakes entrants do NOT have to submit one of the five name finalists or vote for the eventual selections in order to win. Rather, five entrants will be chosen at random from among all individuals who submit a name suggestion, and another five will be chosen at random from among all individuals who vote in the final poll.
Each selected participant will receive a VIP experience that consists of the following:
- Four tickets to a 2011 Buccaneers home game;
- A parking pass to the same game;
- A VIP pregame on-field photo;
- And a meet-and-greet with the Buccaneers Cheerleaders.
So, will it be Sparkles and Lucky who will greet future hospitalized children in Central Florida with a warm hug, or maybe Lola and Huddles? Please help us decide, and maybe we'll see you on the Buccaneers' sideline soon.
The "Cheering You On!" program, initially launched in 1999, has helped lift the spirits of young patients for more than a decade by providing a Buccaneers teddy bear to every child admitted to one of eight hospitals in the Central Florida area. The Foundation expects to pass the half-million mark in donated bears in 2012, which are meant to provide a measure of reassurance and security at a difficult time.
In June, Foundation Co-President Darcie Glazer Kassewitz visited one of those eight hospitals, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa, to officially kick off the "Name the Bears" Sweepstakes. The idea to name the bears had come to Kassewitz a few weeks earlier while she was in the bedroom of one of her children.
"I noticed that all of the bears were named," she said. "Then I remembered that when I was growing up all of my teddy bears had names, too. So we thought it was time to ask the kids what we should name the [Cheering You On!] teddy bears. We figured they would know best."
Leah Fronerath, the hospital's child life supervisor, had witnessed the comfort the bears had brought to patients at St. Joseph's for years. She believed allowing the children to help name the bears just added to the positive impact of the program.
"The teddy bears are a really great way to bring some softness and gentleness to an otherwise frightening environment," said Fronerath. "And whether it's a matter of naming the trademark bear or their own bears, this is a way to exert some control over certain aspects of their lives. "