Building bears to pass the time

Ayden Celaya, 4, of Walworth, works on his teddy bear with help from his mother, Alondra, during a Feb. 13 Big Foot Recreation District program. (Penny Gruetzmacher photo)

The Big Foot Recreation District sponsored a Build-a-Teddy program for about a dozen area children recently at Big Foot Union High School.

The Recreation District, which held the event in school commons, allowed participants to choose among four different types of teddy bears.

The choices drew inspiration from Valentine’s Day and included Labradoodle Puppy, Rainbow Teddy, Chocolate Kissed Teddy as well as Randy Rocco Raccoon.

Additionally, participants received a kit including the bear, the wishing star, birth certificate, stuffing and a bag to carry items.

The participants come from the local area as well as the communities of Whitewater, Genoa City and even Harvard, Ill.

Grandparents and parents were on hand to help children with the project.

Participants, according to organizers, also received a tasty treat while building their bears.

“Enjoy a snack with us as we bring our new teddy bear friends to life,” Big Foot Recreation District states on the event synopsis.

While two sessions were planned, according to organizers, the program merged into one session starting at 10 a.m.

With COVID-19 precautions, organizers required participants –including adults – to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines.

The Recreation District also installed plexiglass dividers to assist.

After children finished the teddy bears, they could take photos with them in the special Valentine teddy bear chair set up by event coordinators, Brianna Sindahl and Dean Connley.

The Recreation District still has many upcoming events planned and people can access a list by accessing its website at

The website includes an event guide for ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing along with many other offerings through the winter and spring seasons.

Big Recreation District, 401 Devils Lane, Walworth is open 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and people can also access information on its Facebook or Instagram pages.

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