For the second year in a row Highland County Toys for Tots and the Highland County Senior Citizens Center are teaming up to offer the community a Build-A-Buddy event.
Somewhat similar to a Build-A-Bear Workshop, Build-A-Buddy will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 29 at the senior center on Muntz Street in Hillsboro. All proceeds benefit the two organizations presenting the event.
“We just wanted to bring something to Hillsboro that’s kind of unique and different that families can enjoy in their own hometown while benefitting two great organizations,” said Mechell Frost, executive director of the senior center. “Plus, a lot of our volunteers really enjoyed helping with the project last year.”
The cost is $12 per buddy.
Those wanting to build a buddy will have eight selections to choose from – a pig, tiger, penguin, koala bear, T Rex, monkey, duck and moose.
Wade Hamilton, assistant coordinator for the local Toys for Tots program, said that while there may be a “very limited” number of buddies available at the door the day of event, reservations are requested. They can be made by visiting the senior center at 185 Muntz St. in Hillsboro or online at www.ourpantry.org.
Once a buddy is reserved, the buyer will receive notice telling them what time to visit the senior center to build their buddy. Times will start at 9 a.m. and continue from there. After kids arrive at the center and receive their buddy, they will work their way through several stations where they will: stuff the buddy, place its heart, have it vaccinated, receive a birth certificate and more.
Frost said the Hillsboro Veterinary Hospital will have staff members on hand with stethoscopes to make sure the hearts are beating properly, the Highland County Health Department will provide special vaccinations that are needle-free and pain-free and will also provide birth certificates, Rocky Fork State Park rangers will be on hand to give fun facts about each of the different buddies, then owners will receive a box with a handle for their buddy that they can decorate at the center before they leave.
But the buddies are not necessarily for children only.
“Last year some adults did buddies just to donate them back to Highland County Toys for Tots so somebody could open it as a Christmas present,” Frost said.
First State Bank is sponsoring the event and the Southern State Patri-Tots Learning Center is a co-sponsor.
“I think for the first time, it went really well last year,” Hamilton said. “The community responded well, everyone seemed to have fun and it was a great fundraiser for the senior center and Toys for Tots.”
For more information call the center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 937-393-4745.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.