The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota's residential elf, Haley Wulliman-Gomes, hand-delivered teddy bears to pediatric patients at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Monday, Dec. 9.
This is the first time the hotel has given out teddy grams. Hotel employees Stacey Anderson, Caroline Gould Lewittes and Marcie McGeehan came up with the idea earlier in the year.
“The hospital has such a presence in the community,” says Anderson. “This is a great way to connect with our neighbors at SMH.”
Alyssa Gancitano, 8, arrived at Sarasota Memorial with her mother, Tara, today and received one of the stuffed bears. Alyssa is scheduled to stay in the hostpital over the holidays, the teddy bear and new friend named Dot, has made the transition less stressful.
“She’s smiling so I’m smiling,” said Tara Gancitano.
In November, the hotel began selling the teddy bears in its hotel, golf club and beach club stores. Patrons were asked to personalize a card that would be attached to the bear. The Ritz plans on delivering the teddy bears to SMH every week between now and Christmas.
Teddy bears are still available to purchase at any of the Ritz Carlton locations. For more information, call 309-2000.
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