Sept. 14, 2017 – Town of Polk, WI – Savanna Rose Bonlender hobbled through the emergency room doors at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the Town of Polk today with a brace on her knee and carrying huge plastic bags crammed full of stuffed animals.
It was the culmination of the 3rd annual Savanna Rose Teddy Bear drive from the West Bend Farmers’ Market.
For the past few years Savanna Rose, 17, has been collecting tips from her performance at the downtown market and using the money to purchase teddy bears and stuffed animals for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Savanna heard there was a need for stuffed animals in the ER at St. Joseph’s/Froedtert in West Bend and this year she chose to donate to both hospitals.
On Wednesday afternoon, joined by Jerry Beine from Modern Woodmen, Savannah Rose was greeted by nurses from St. Joes who helped bring the gifts into the hospital.
“I am hoping to become a nurse practitioner and I really enjoy helping others and I eventually would like to help people medically but is the best I can do getting into a hospital setting,” said Savanna.
In her first year Savanna collected about $500 to buy toys and art supplies for Children’s Hospital. This year she raised more than double that collecting $806 in three hours. Jerry Beine of Modern Woodmen of America said he would like to help and chipped in a $300 donation to raise the total to $1,106 this year.
Anne Zuern is manager of Ambulatory Surgical Services at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. “This is just a wonderful donation,” said Zuern. “Especially from someone so young… you just don’t see that a lot.”
Savanna will be starting college next year and majoring in nursing with hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner.