We are so fortunate to live in a community where people continually do things to help others – in many cases, people they don’t even know.

Throughout the year, we watch with admiration the organizations and people who come together to raise money and goods for the homeless, provide food to people who are hungry and offer comfort to those fighting illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and others. It truly is an amazing sight.

One event that has made a huge difference in the lives of children in our community is the annual Great Teddy Bear Run. Participants, mainly motorcyclists, donate teddy bears to children who have dealt with abuse. On Saturday, more than 500 bikers made the journey from the Warren County Justice Center to the Harley-Davidson dealership on Cumberland Trace Road, many of them transporting stuffed animals that were donated to the Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center.

BRACAC deals directly with local child abuse, providing forensic investigators to interview children who say they have been abused, as well as medical exams for the children. Officials with the organization say this event is crucial to their organization.

After a moment of silence for Robert J. Bartley, who died at last year’s Great Teddy Bear Run in a single-vehicle wreck, the kickstands went up, the engines roared and the bikers rode out of the parking lot on their way to the dealership.

At Harley-Davidson Bowling Green, the bikers formed a long line as they carried their stuffed animals, which included bears of all colors – and occasional outliers such as Mickey Mouse or a stuffed sloth – that were loaded into a van to be taken to BRACAC.

Officials say the teddy bears make traumatized children feel more comfortable. These children are allowed to pick out a stuffed animal from a room filled with dozens of them after an exam.

Being able to pick a teddy bear after enduring a medical exam has to provide comfort to these children. It has to give them something to look forward to, knowing there is a teddy bear waiting for them. Giving a child something like a teddy bear after they have endured grave hardships in many cases can make a huge difference in their lives.

We think this is a wonderful cause. We applaud all of those who participated by bringing teddy bears for these young children and also applaud BRACAC for collecting them and distributing them to children in our community.

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