Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Cancels Luncheon

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   June 4, 2020

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is the only nonprofit organization in our community that provides financial, educational, and emotional support to local families who have a child with cancer. The organization also has a reputation for its signature events, as a way to raise much-needed funding. Their flagship event, the Gold Ribbon Luncheon held at Four Seasons, the Biltmore Resort Santa Barbara, historically gathers over 400 individuals to raise critical funds for families in the tri-counties battling pediatric cancer, and the event raises almost a third of their annual operating expenses. This year, however, TBCF had decided to forego the event entirely.

“Our families are in dire situations right now, and we’ve made the decision to focus on serving them to our best ability right now,” said Eryn Shugart, Interim Executive Director. “Some of our families have lost their entire income, and many are in danger of going hungry… all while they’re caring for a very ill child. We just really need to focus on them right now, and not on planning our luncheon. Also, out of concern for the health of our supporters, we don’t believe that holding a large luncheon event would be appropriate, even if the orders are lifted.” This decision will inevitably result in an enormous budget shortfall, and TBCF is relying on support from their donor base now more than ever before.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation will, however, continue their annual Gold Ribbon Campaign through the month of September in recognition of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Gold is the official ribbon color for pediatric cancer and TBCF will be distributing gold ribbons in September to help spread awareness for their campaign. Fundraising for the campaign will focus on a USPS direct mail appeal, sponsorships, a raffle, and an online silent auction. Campaign sponsorships offer robust benefits including upgraded marketing and promotional opportunities ideal for businesses, and smaller sponsorship levels and gifts to encourage more participation from individuals and youth. Every sponsorship level will include a gift certificate to a local small business or restaurant as TBCF’s attempt to support the small businesses that have supported them over their 18-year history.“I feel really good about offering local restaurant gift cards to our campaign sponsors. We are also providing our sponsors with the option to donate the gift card directly to a TBCF family, should they prefer,” said Kirsten Stuart, Development & Communications Director. “TBCF is stable today because of the past participation of our small business community and it feels wonderful to be able to give back to them after so many years of support, especially now.”

The campaign co-chairs are Eileen Dill and Brigitte Welty, who have previously served as luncheon co-chairs. Eileen and Brigitte will help oversee an online silent auction, raffle, and marketing of the campaign, and help to spread TBCF’s mission and message of hope.

Last year, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation provided critical financial aid to 55 local families and served a total of 851 individuals through their three core programs. Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s mission advocates for families living in the Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties who have a child battling cancer by providing financial, emotional, and educational support. TBCF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has been serving the tri-counties since 2002. For information about TBCF’s mission or for sponsorship information, please contact Eryn Shugart at Eryn@TeddyBearCancerFoundation.org


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