Okanagan Falls Legion members Myrt Niles, and Ed and Mary Findlater presented a Spinoza bear to Kaleden Elementary School student Odin Bailey during a school assembly just prior to Christmas break.
Okanagan Falls Legion receives the bears through the Legion Foundation, which has supplied 16 of the bears to various legion branches in B.C. The presentation to Odin on December 17 is the second for Okanagan Falls this year.
The Spinoza Bear program provides children from three to 10 years of age who suffer from illness, handicap or tragic circumstances with the comfort of a “new friend.” The bear comes with a built in CD player, which can play prerecorded discs that allow the bear to tell stories and sing songs to the child.
Legion President Myrt Niles first noticed Odin during Remembrance Day ceremonies at Kaleden school in November. A quick discussion with Mary Findlater convinced the two ladies that Odin was deserving of one of the comfort bears.
“It gives us so much pleasure to give these to children,” she said during the December 17 presentation. The bear obviously added an additional joyful element to Odin’s Christmas as well.
Okanagan Falls Legion generally relies on word of mouth within the community to discover worthy recipients of the bears.