A little extra care can go a long way with a child having to spend time in the Emergency Department. If part of that care comes with a cuddly buddy the child can take home, it’s even better. Brent’s Bears is a program that puts teddy bears in the arms of children treated in RiverView’s Emergency Department. The program was developed through the RiverView Foundation thanks to the efforts of Brent Rau, president of the Crookston Eagles Club.

    “I like to help when I can,’’ Rau stated quietly as he visited RiverView to make the donation and tour the Emergency Department. “I want to help the community, help kids when they’re most scared.’’

    Staff from RiverView’s Emergency Department expressed their appreciation for the project and the comfort they know the bears will bring to children and their parents in need of a distraction from high stress situations.

    “This is absolutely amazing,’’ Kristin Pearcy, director of RiverView’s Emergency Services stated. “Our team is very excited about this project. It’s going to be so great for our pediatric patients.’’

    Brent’s Bears is a perfect example of how one idea can snowball into a project touched by many. After Rau came up with the idea, the state Fraternal Order of the Eagles donated $1,000 from the Grand Aerie Children’s Fund, the Crookston Eagles donated an additional $1,000, and through the RiverView Foundation’s donor-sponsored project grant program the RiverView Auxiliary matched all funds.

    Rau has been a member of the local Eagles Club since 2001. Jake Fee, secretary of the Crookston Eagles, describes Rau as having “a heart the size of Texas’’. He credits Rau for doing a good job in his current role with the Eagles and “keeping everyone in line’’.

    “It was a team effort,’’ Rau said of the development of Brent’s Bears. “I want to thank everyone for helping out.’’

    For more information on this project and others through the RiverView Foundation, contact Director Kent Bruun at 218-281-9249 or kbruun@riverviewhealth.org