Darleen Barrette (left) receives the first Gund Teddy bear from Morning Star sales representative Lynnaya Frasch Saturday at the newspaper's annual Teddy bear event for those supporting local businesses.

Darleen Barrette (left) receives the first Gund Teddy bear from Morning Star sales representative Lynnaya Frasch Saturday at the newspaper's annual Teddy bear event for those supporting local businesses.

Teddy bears worth the wait

Support for Vernon businesses over Christmas shopping season proves strong at The Morning Star's annual Gund Teddy bear giveaway

After 10 years of hunting, Vernon’s Donna Calver finally landed the big one Saturday ar The Morning Star office.

Calver, along with sister Sharon Christiansen, lined up among a group of 50 people in front of the 25th Avenue building for a chance to collect a Gund Teddy bear as part of the publication’s holiday contest.

Not only did Calver collect her 10th Teddy in as many years, she also had her name drawn for the $500 cash grand prize.

“I’ve got the first one (bear), and everyone in between,” beamed Calver, who arrived just before 6 a.m.

“It started out with the first bear, Sugarplum, and she was so cute. Every year, we’d just wait to see what the bear looked like and they were always so cute. Now I’ve got to  line them all up and get a picture of them.”

Calver says the $500 is already earmarked to cover her holiday shopping expenses.

“That’ll pretty well cover it,” she said.

To qualify for a bear, and get their names in the draw, the first 50 customers had to show proof of $300 of purchases from a list of participating local stores.

Wayne Wicklund, known more for his sniper skills in the local rec hockey leagues, showed up at 5 a.m. with father-in-law Cliff Lindskoog, taking the 17th and 18th places in the queue.

“My wife started it out six years ago and the one year it was minus-26, and she was like ‘You’re going from now on,’” laughed Wicklund.

“It was warm when we got here, but an hour later it got cold and the wind came in, but now it’s better.

“The bears are nice – limited edition – and they’re nice to have at home. We bring them out this time of year.”