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Council of Indian Students to hold teddy bear fundraiser for child abuse victims

BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Bemidji State University Council of Indian Students will hold a fry bread taco fundraiser entitled “If Teddy Bears Could Talk” on Wednesday, April 1, in the Gathering Room of Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center.

The event, which begins at 11 a.m., hopes to raise money or donations of teddy bears to be distributed to area children in support of events recognizing the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event will feature a fry bread taco luncheon given in exchange for a teddy bear, or at a cost of $10 if no bear is donated.

The program will begin with a reading of Penny Vaughan’s poem, “If Teddy Bears Could Talk,” and feature a ceremonial handing off of the first donated bear. Dr. Donald Day, executive director of Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center, will then welcome those participating in the event and offer an invocation.

A local native drum group will perform an honor song for children and those who work with victims of child abuse on a daily basis. The group and native dancers will provide entertainment throughout the event.

The fundraising event will conclude with donated teddy bears being distributed by children to the representatives of the surrounding law enforcement, social services, centers for battered women and children, hospitals and school personnel with the message “when you see a child scared and alone here is a teddy bear in need of a home.”

The event is sponsored by the Bemidji State University Council of Indian Students. Co-sponsors include the American Indian Resource Center; Arrow Printing, Inc.; the Beltrami County Child Abuse Prevention Council; Bemidji Coca-Cola; the BSU Criminal Justice Club; the BSU Psychology Club; BSU Student Senate; Kids With Heart; the Leech Lake Tribal Council; Red Lake Trading Post; the Red Lake Tribal Council; and the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council.

For more information, please contact Harlan Johnson, president of the Bemidji State University Council of Indian Students, via e-mail at, or the American Indian Resource Center at (218) 755-2032.

April 1 – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Bemidji State University Council of Indian Students hosts “If Teddy Bears Could Talk” fry bread taco fundraiser for activities in support of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Location: American Indian Resource Center, Bemidji State campus. Admission: a teddy bear donation, or $10. Information: American Indian Resource Center, (218) 755-2032 or Harlan Johnson, president of the Council of Indian Students,

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.