In Dawn Frazier’s family, the Teddy Bear Tea has become an annual tradition.

“We enjoy going to teas and doing teas ourselves,” the Prineville woman said. “Here, we have quality time together, my daughter, granddaughter and me, and we get to enjoy the tea without doing the work.”

Making the Dec. 9 event at Juniper Golf Course more special was the fact that it benefits Hospice of Redmond’s Camp Sunrise. Frazier’s grandson attended the free camp, which serves children ages 7-to-14 who are grieving the death of a loved one. This was their fourth time attending the tea.

This year’s 16th annual Teddy Bear Tea returned to Juniper for the first time in several years, said Diane Kellstrom, the Hospice bereavement coordinator and Camp Sunrise director. They marked the occasion by having two tea sessions, each using fine China, serving a total of about 90 people.

“We came back to Juniper because they treat us so well, and they’re so welcoming to our organization,” Kellstrom said.

The tea raises about $500 for Hospice and Camp Sunrise. While that is a fraction of the money raised by the agency’s major fundraiser, the Festival of Trees, a week earlier, it is a valuable experience for the children.

“People in our community are returning to the Teddy Bear Tea year after year because it’s a nice experience and a great place to meet with Santa,” Kellstrom said.

Children come to the event dressed in their finery, Kellstrom said. Along with Santa, they get to meet with Mrs. Claus and the Cinnamon Bear. They take part in a high tea and bring home their own Teddy bear.

The Teddy Bear Tea is one of three holiday events for Hospice of Redmond. The Dec. 16 Light Up A Life evening of remembrance gave people grieving a loss the chance to light a candle for a loved one, The 35th Festival of Trees raised $164,000 for Hospice Dec. 1 with its gala dinner and auction of ornately decorated trees.

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com

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