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Annual auction event for Teddy Bear Den moves online

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:00 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Teddy Bear Den has a fundraiser in January every year called Celebrity Night Out. It helps raise money for the organization that has been around since 1996. It’s helped more than 30,000 people in the community.

“We have everything from diapers to wipes, clothes, high chairs, strollers, everything that you would need that is an essential to your baby and leading a good life,” Sandy Lown said. She’s the executive director of the Teddy Bear Den.

The program helps expecting moms who are teenagers or who are low income.

“Encouraging them to lead healthy lifestyles and make healthy choices,” she said.

The way the den achieves this is through an incentive program. Women are encouraged to get prenatal care. Every time they do, they get rewarded points, which can be traded for baby products. Lown said she’s had to adjust during the pandemic, but the organization is still able to help moms. That’s why this fundraiser is so important.

“This fundraiser alone raises typically over half of our budget, and all of our money goes towards incentive items. So it provides the items we need for our moms throughout the year,” she said.

Celebrity Night Out has been a live auction for the past 17 years, but this year all 60 packages are online because of COVID-19. The auction is open through Saturday online. An anonymous donor is matching $25,000 for the event as well.

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