On Saturday the Winkler community gathered for the highly anticipated Teddy Bear Picnic, a delightful event that brought smiles to everyone who attended. Held at the Winkler Park, which has multiple fantastic play structures, the picnic provided a perfect setting for a day of fun and activities.

"We are raising money to continue our programs. Right now we have waitlists, so we're really, really busy and we'd like to continue to grow, so funds from this will help us to do that... it's really nice that the community is able to come together and support WFRC [Winkler Family Resource Centre]," said Chantal Human, Executive Director of WFRC.

The park was alive with laughter. Families arrived with their special stuffed animals, ready to participate in the countless activities designed to entertain and engage. Children were thrilled to participate in games and enjoy various stuffed animal-themed activities, making new friends and creating new memories.

One of the main attractions was the teddy bear check-up station, where volunteer doctors attended to the needs of the fluffy friends. Bandages were carefully applied to “injured” teddies, and glasses were handed out to those needing a vision boost. This thoughtful touch added an extra layer of magic to the day, ensuring every teddy bear received the care it deserved.

"I like being part of WFRC because it helps support families when their kids are really young and helps them get some skills. The teddy bear picnic is a huge part of the Winkler Family Resource Center's fundraising and presence in the community because it engages all of the local providers of health care... it's really good because it takes some of the fear away for the kids to go to the doctor, I think it can be really helpful," said Debra Fehr chair of WFRC.

The picnic also featured a delicious hotdog lunch, which was a big hit among the attendees. Families gathered around picnic tables, enjoying their meals and the nice weather. 

The Winkler Teddy Bear Picnic not only provided a day of enjoyment for families but also served as an important fundraising event. The funds raised will support local initiatives and help continue the picnic's tradition for years to come.

Sophie Gerbrandt, Children's Counsellor at Genisis House, spoke about the importance of addressing children's emotions at the event. "I see a lot of kids coming through, and a big thing we work on is feelings, so we're here to help the kids and their teddy bears."

We're just excited to bring an aspect of emotional health to the picnic," added Madison Fehr who was volunteering at the same booth as Gerbrandt. "It's not something that has really been done before. I hope this is the start of emotional and mental health being more a part of teddy bear picnics in the future."

As the event concluded, families left with happy hearts and cherished memories, already looking forward to next year’s picnic. The Winkler Teddy Bear Picnic was a wonderful success, celebrating the simple joys of childhood.