INDIANAPOLIS — In an effort to keep patients connected to their classrooms while receiving care, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health operates an ongoing Bear in the Chair program. Once a patient is admitted for two weeks, Riley staff sends a teddy bear to the child’s classroom. The bear sits in the child’s seat until they return to school. When the child returns to school, they can take the bear home.
Through the generosity of its customers, Speedway gifted $1.8 million in 2014 — surpassing $10.7 million in lifetime support — towards clinical care and medical research at Riley Hospital for Children. Speedway associates from central and northern Indiana also personally contributed $4,400 for 65 life-size plush animals in 2015 (cumulatively $9,000 for 130 bears the past two years) to support the Bear in the Chair program.
Speedway is Riley Children’s Foundation’s number one corporate donor, thanks to a relationship through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Riley Hospital for Children hosted a dedication of the newest teddy bears on Sept. 3 in the Riley Outpatient Center Auditorium, featuring Speedway executives and employees, Riley Hospital executives and Riley Children’s Foundation leadership.
The Bear in the Chair program originally launched in the Speedway Burn Center at Riley Hospital for Children, and has expanded to include additional hospital units.
Speedway associate Wayne Bartley is grateful for his generous colleagues and the supportive customers who take part in fundraisers for Riley Hospital for Children. His son, Logan, 15, was diagnosed at 6-months-old with Angelman’s syndrome, impacting approximately 1-in-20,000 children. “My son is alive because of Riley Hospital. I am honored to be part of this effort.”