Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser
Now in its 13th enchanting year, the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser is a magical holiday tradition where family memories are made, and the money raised goes to help the Martha’s Vineyard Boys And Girls Club, and its vital After School Programs, in particular, the Healthy Happy Kids food program that is used by hundreds of the elementary school-aged children and their families every week.
Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraising At Work
Over its first 12 years, the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite has raised $371,000+ that directly supported a number of after-school programs and services at the Boys & Girls Club, including mentoring services, and programs in the arts, activities, homework, and a variety of facility upgrades.
In year six, the 2016 drive raised $35,000. That was enough to fund the entire cost of launching and supporting the Club’s new Healthy Happy Kids initiative, which targets childhood hunger and food security on the island, which sadly, are more prevalent than many have realized.
H2K now serves 1,200 meals and snacks per week — more than 50,000 prepared meals and snacks to members and families over the last year. It now costs $50,000 a year to run this vital food program. And for the last three years, the MV Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser has raised enough money to fund and run the entire food program each year. And the Club is now expanding its Food Security Program to include: packaged family meals during school vacations and weekends; its new Blue Door Pantry that will provide access to perishable and non-perishable food, hygiene products, and even some essential wearables; plus partnering with Cronig’s Market and some local farms for rescuing and distributing usable food.
What Is The Teddy Bear Suite
Founded and sponsored by Point B Realty, the annual holiday fundraiser opens its doors each December to coincide with the Christmas in Edgartown weekend. The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite was initially hosted at the Harbor View Hotel, but moved in-town in 2018 to Nevin Square, then outdoors in Nevin Square, and in 2023, we’re moving back inside to a magical new Teddy Bear Suite at the Faraway Martha’s Vineyard Kelley House hotel in downtown Edgartown.
For most of the first decade of the fundraiser, the joyously decorated Teddy Bear Suite literally came to life with hundreds of teddy bears dressed for the holidays, engaged in all sorts of adorable teddy bear activities. Visitors got to enjoy one of the largest Teddy Bear collections on the East Coast.
Over the last three years, there have of course been some in-person pandemic pivots to run the Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser safely but still with seasonal joy. And this year, we launched an entirely new outdoor Teddy Bear Suite experience. We also opened a new Teddy Bear Suite Photo Studio, so families could once again take their own pictures amid the joy and splendor of the teddies.
Over the years, there are teddy bears having tea, spa bears in the bathtub and shower, teddy bears reading, teddy bear angels and ornaments, fireside bears, musical bears, car and bike riding bears, miniature bears, larger-than-life bears, and nowhere, are there more bears, than the giant teddy bear bed.
Stay tuned for some fun new updated experiences that mix our traditional Teddy Bear Suite past with our new Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite future.
Over the years, thousands of people have visited the Teddy Bear Suite each year. Many families have made it their favorite holiday family photo op — where kids of all ages have big smiles on their faces, and a twinkle in their eyes.
We’ve even had a bride and groom make a special Teddy Bear Suite wedding stop!
“We wanted to create a magical holiday tradition that was inclusive and fun for the entire Vineyard community — that helped bring out the child in all of us — while also helping raise much-needed funding and support for our year-round Island families through the Boys & Girls Club After School Program,” said Teddy Bear Suite Co-Founder, and Point B Realty Broker/Owner, Wendy Harman.
“Our efforts now focus specifically on fundraising for the Healthy Happy Kids program, which is already making a big impact on childhood hunger and food security,” said Harman. “We’re committed to helping really make a difference.”
MV Teddy Bear Suite Traditions
We have a few other fun traditions each year, in addition to opening the doors to the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite. Most years, we add a new big bear — and we mean life-size — every year to the Teddy Bear Suite family. And we invite all our friends, supporters, donors, and followers to vote for a new name using social media — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and right here on the website.
Name The New Big Bear
Our hashtag for all things Teddy Bear Suite related, including names, is #mvteddybearsuite. You can follow all the action on our Social Media Feed page. After hundreds of votes were cast, Nevin, was the winner. Yes, you will notice a decided Martha’s Vineyard twist for all our big bear names. So, the Big Bear family includes: Edgar, Chappy, TisBeary, Obie, Lambert, Quinn, Nemsha, Tashmoo, and Lucy, and Nevin.
Another new feature in 2022 was that we raffled off our new big bear Nevin. The raffle was a very successful addition to the fundraiser.
Our big Teddy Bear mascots also join in the Christmas In Edgartown Parade most years. Look for us in our caravan of MINI Cooper convertibles, waving to the crowd, and throwing out gummy bear candy! Then it’s back to the Teddy Bear Suite, for the always busy Christmas in Edgartown weekend.