Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 3:54 pm | Fair 76º


ACE Rounds Up $10,000 to Help Kids With Cancer

Employees, Customers Put Arms Around Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation

Kirsten Stuart, left, Martin Bell, Gary Simpson, Mike Owens and Lindsey Leonard.
Kirsten Stuart, left, Martin Bell, Gary Simpson, Mike Owens and Lindsey Leonard. (Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation)

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation was the benefiting charity of ACE Hardware’s Round-up Campaign, in which $10,101 was raised in just over three weeks by ACE Hardware shoppers to support local kids with cancer.

Customers with do-it-yourself goals ranging from gardening to construction, were asked to round-up their purchase to support families of children who have cancer.

ACE Hardware employees were passionate about the cause, and the success of the Round-up Campaign was attributed largely to their goodwill toward educating customers about the hardships families face when they have a child who is battling cancer.

Kirsten Stuart, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s development associate, oriented each of the employees about Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s mission, specifically who they served and why it’s important to support the local community.

“The employees showed genuine concern for our efforts. Many of them knew families who have been supported by us," Stuart said about working with ACE Hardware staff.

"They asked thoughtful questions and enthusiastically participated in this fundraising effort. I commend them for making this happen,” she said.

Gary Simpson, ACE Hardware owner and president, said, “It is our mission to give back to the community, especially to those in dire need such as the kids and their families who are dealing with the challenges of childhood cancer.”

“It takes the support of the entire community to help care for a child with cancer,” said Lindsey Leonard, executive director of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

“Many of our families are taking their child to and from intensive treatments for years," she said. "The children who are battling this disease need their parents by their bedside, sometimes around the clock.

"Consequently, parents must reduce or quit their jobs to care for their sick child. The financial burden and emotional challenges can be enormous,” Leonard said.

It was a great day to be handed a check representing nearly 300 donations from ACE Hardware costumers.

“We project we will be supporting a record 165 kids this year," Leonard said. "The demand for our service is greater than ever before.

"If you are a business that would like to help support us, such as ACE Hardware did, please contact us. We would be truly honored to work with you,” she said.

The nonprofit Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is celebrating its 15-year anniversary this year. The charity provides financial, educational and emotional support to families of children with cancer in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

The organization projects it will support a record 165 kids in 2017. Services are provided to families that have a child diagnosed with cancer up to age 18 and continue until they reach 21 years of age.

To learn more about how to get involved with helping children with cancer, or to make a donation, visit or call 962-7466.

— Kendall Klein for Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.


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