Friends ready to bear all in new fundraiser

Friends of the Morinville Public Library President April Heppleston and Teddy My Bear owner Teresa Brunner pose with the pair of hand-crafted teddy bears made from a donated Mouton coat. The fundraiser takes place from now until late December. Tickets are limited to 250. – Morinville News Staff Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Two bucks can go a long way to helping a local cause and a long way towards winning a one-of-a-kind creation. The Friends of the Morinville Public Library are holding their second annual Teddy Bear Raffle, once again giving away a hand-made fur teddy bear.
Friend’s President April Heppleston said there was some concern last year from library patrons the bear was made from real fur. The fundraiser said vintage coats and not newly acquired furs are the source of the bear’s material.

“Last year’s bear was our Centennial bear. It included a Centennial coin and was made from a coat that was light coloured mink with dark brown leather,” Heppleston explained. “This year’s bear is a very dark brown Mouton; sheepskin made to resemble sheared beaver.”
Heppleston said the material for this year’s bear was a coat owned by the mother-in-law of Friend Nikki Chevrier. “Mrs. Chevrier certainly prized her Mouton coat and bequeathed it to her daughter-in-law, who generously lent it to the library for several themed displays,” Heppleston said. “Now it has been donated it to the Friends to be crafted into a treasured teddy bear that will not only raise funds for the library, but will bring joy into the life of the person who wins the raffle.”

The bear was created by Teresa Brunner, owner of Teddy My Bear. Brunner has created two nearly identical bears, one to be raffled this year, the other in 2013.

“Each bear takes about 20 hours to make,” Brunner said. “My client base is people who have had fur coats given to them or it’s their own fur coat. I’ll take it and make it into teddy bears. I use as much of the fur coat as possible, whether it is the coat and the lining. I’ll put everything I can inside it.”

Brunner said she began making bears out of old fur coats in 2003. A decade later and her handiwork can be enjoyed by the winner of this year’s raffle.

Tickets are $2 each and limited to 750. They are for sale at the library and at the manager’s booth at the Farmers’ Market.

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