UCLA alumni group collecting teddy bears for youth cancer patients

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WHITTIER -- The UCLA Alumni Los Angeles Southeast Network ("Southeast Bruins") are holding their fifth annual holiday party at a historic private residence in the city of Whittier on Friday, Dec. 15.  

Alumni, family, and friends will gather from 6 to 10 pm to celebrate the holidays but will also mark the occasion with a touching tribute: a teddy bear drive that aims to collect new stuffed animals to be delivered to children who are hospitalized as they fight cancer.  

The night's guest speaker will be Alexandra Muñoz, a UCLA alumna who is also a cancer survivor. Muñoz thought up the idea of collecting new teddy bears and other stuffed animals to give to children fighting cancer during her own hospitalization.  

On why she began the teddy bear drive, Muñoz has stated, "During my fight with cancer, I had a stuffed animal that kept me company on the very long nights at the hospital;  I found it comforting to have it next to me - so much so that I kept it with me after my fight with cancer, especially during finals."   

Muñoz, with the help of her mother and friends, collects the stuffed animals and then makes the personal delivery to the hospital each year. This will mark the fifth year that Muñoz collaborates with the Southeast Bruins.

The teddy bears and stuffed animals will be donated to children who are receiving cancer treatment at different hospitals, among them the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital.

Those wishing to contribute can do so by dropping off a teddy bear or stuffed animal on the day of the event.  Alternatively, donors can drop off items before the event in different Southeast cities. These teddy bear drop-off centers are:

1) Huntington Park
Salt Lake Park
3401 E Florence Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255

2) South Gate
Mascaras Sports Grill
12019 Garfield Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280
Business Hours: 11am-9pm

3) Downey
Law Offices of Miguel Duarte
10829 Downey Avenue
Downey, CA 90241

Food and beverages will be provided and a live DJ will be performing. Private residence address to be provided upon reservation. To RSVP, contact Southeast Bruins Secretary Tifanni Prater at tifannip@g.ucla.edu. 

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