Bexley News

Program needs some bear builders

Those who are interested in contributing to a program that provides comfort for patients in end-of-life care may participate in a March 9 event at the Build-a-Bear Workshop at the Easton Town Center.

The event, set for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will mark the second anniversary of the Love & Hugs for Zusman Hospice program. The program was founded by Bexley resident Emily Cammeyer, who as part of her bat mitzvah preparations, decided to build and donate stuffed bears to patients in hospice care at the Zusman House on the College Avenue campus of Wexner Heritage Village.

With support from Cammeyer's family, grants and donations, the project evolved into the volunteer organization Love & Hugs for Zusman Hospice at Wexner Heritage Village. Through the organization, young adults in central Ohio learn about hospice care and then craft and clothe stuffed bears in memory of a loved one.

The organization has generated more than 400 stuffed bears for Zusman Hospice. Upon admission, patients are given the opportunity to choose a bear to keep with them throughout their stay.

"The Love & Hugs program has been wonderful for our patients and their families," Wexner Heritage Village President and CEO David Rosen said in a press release. "But what makes the organization really special is that it spreads knowledge about hospice care throughout the community, particularly among young adults."

Organizers of the March 9 event have set a goal of making 180 bears. Each $18 donation will pay for one bear. To make donations and for more information, visit the website at

-- Chris Bournea