FRANKFORT, Ky. 3/29/21 — It’s nearly Easter and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) hopes shoppers will include a Trooper Teddy Bear in their Easter baskets this year. The bears go on sale today and will sell for $14.99 through April 4th. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Trooper Teddy Project, which provides teddy bears to children in traumatic situations such as a car crash, exposure to drugs, or domestic abuse cases which frequently result in the arrest of a parent.
KSP Spokesman Sergeant Billy Gregory says the ‘Trooper Teddy’ Project is designed to develop trust between officers and children.
“Often times, we are meeting these children on their worst day,” says Gregory. “Whether they are scared or nervous from the circumstance they are dealing with, the bear seems to immediately resonate with them. That connection builds trust and opens the door to communication between the child and the trooper.”
Gregory says the program does not utilize state dollars and relies solely on donations and the sale of bears to sustain it.
“Annually, we host a bear sale on Black Friday and then again on Valentine’s Day to raise money for the project,” notes Gregory. “This year, our bear shipment was delayed for our February sale so we are hosting our first ever Easter Sale.”
Gregory says he hopes the Spring sale will be successful and that Trooper Teddy Bears might show up in Easter Baskets this year.
“We know traditionally this is the season for bunnies,” remarked Gregory. “Kentuckians have always supported this project and it has been absolutely heart-warming to see the way they have responded over the years.”
Trooper Teddy Bears will be sold for $14.99 plus shipping during the promotion. To avoid a shipping fee, citizens have the option to pick up their bear at KSP Post 16 in Henderson or at any other KSP Post location.
For those interested in purchasing a bear or making a tax deductible contribution to the project:
The Trooper Teddy Bear Project came to life in December of 1989 after Kentucky First Lady Martha Wilkinson hosted a Gala fundraiser at Red Mile Racecourse earlier that summer. The black tie event raised the needed funds to purchase 2,000 Trooper Teddy Bears. The first allotment of bears included a personal note on each stuffed animal from First Lady Wilkerson.