Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) announces its third annual month-long pediatric cancer awareness and fundraising effort, the Gold Ribbon Campaign, in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

TBCF is the only nonprofit of its kind which provides both financial and emotional support to Tri-County families facing childhood cancer.

“At Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, we provide a variety of support programs to families of youth up to age 21 with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties,” said Lindsey Leonard, TBCF executive director. “This September, we hope our community will join us in raising awareness and supporting local families during a difficult time.”

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s Gold Ribbon Campaign will launch Sept. 1 with a photo day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Paseo Nuevo Mall and culminate Oct. 1 with a Gold Ribbon Luncheon at the Biltmore.

The Luncheon will honor long-time supporter Dennis Miller with the organization’s Heart of Gold Award for his generous support to the organization.

The Campaign goal is to generate awareness about pediatric cancer and how it affects families, bring attention to the critical role TBCF plays in supporting Tri-County families that have a child experiencing cancer, raise $250,000 to support TBCF’s emotional and financial support programs and provide networks for youth with cancer and their families.

The gold ribbon is the universal symbol to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. The color was selected in 1997 by a group of parents dedicated to mobilizing support for the cause because it represents a precious metal and our children our precious.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is giving free gold pins to anyone in the community who wants to pledge their support by wearing one during the month of September.

Contact Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation at 805.962.7466 to have one mailed to you or to pick one up.

TBCF’s emotional and financial support programs are designed to offer wrap-around assistance to families from initial diagnosis, during treatment and into recovery.

Financial support programs help families cover basic needs, including hospital stays, rent or mortgage payments, hotel accommodations, counseling, tutoring and childcare. When needed, TBCF assists families with funeral arrangements.   

Emotional support programs include family support groups, bereavement support groups, special experiences or “Moments in Time,” and a weekly “Storytellers” program, where volunteers read to children at Cottage Hospital.  

In 2014, TBCF supported 649 individuals and to-date has granted $1,300,000 of financial assistance.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation would like to acknowledge and thank 2015 Annual Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, Earl & Claudia Minnis and Family; Ambassador Bear Sponsor, The Carrie Hamilton Fund, established by Jeff & Margo Barbakow.  

Visionary Bear Sponsors include: Alamar Capital Management, Jim Bechtel; Avalan Wealth Management; Thomas & Nancy S. Crawford; and Keith Berry Real Estate.

Additionally, TBCF is grateful for the support of numerous other Annual Sponsors, including The Bank of Santa Barbara; Julia Delgado, MD General Pediatrics; Cox Communications; Heritage Oaks Bank; MarBorg Industries; Bill and Kathy Borgers; Larame and Nikki Greene; and Wells Fargo.

2015 Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsors include Gold Sponsor, Aera Energy LLC; Silver Sponsor, Venoco, Inc.; and Bronze Sponsors, Carolyn Crockett Bell; Fielding Graduate University; Paloma Angel; Roberts Design Group Architecture + Interiors and Maryan Schall.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.