A local senior community is buzzing about a barbecue to raise money for teddy bears.

Many police departments have programs providing officers with stuffed animals to give to kids caught up in high-stress police response situations, and Village Concepts of Milton decided to support the effort, with a Teddy Bear Picnic.

Executive Director Jennifer Dennis says the project is especially near to her heart because both of her parents were police officers.

“Growing up I heard stories of my parents responding to calls where a kid might be a little uneasy; so the bears have helped to ease that in different departments.”

Thursday will be Village Concepts’ very first Teddy Bear Picnic, but Dennis says it likely will not be the last.

“So far community members are very excited; they’re so glad to be able to come in and have a nice lunch and raise funds for this cause. I’ve had a few tears in conversations – people are grateful that we’re doing it –  and a lot of smiles.”

Everyone is invited to stop by Village Concepts of Milton – Mill Ridge Village at 607 28th Ave from 4:00-7:00 Thursday for a burger or a hot dog.  Tickets are $10 each, and all of the money raised will help buy teddy bears for Milton police officers to carry with them.