Fun day for teddies and friends

By Cherie Taylor

Noah Mullen and his side-kick Shrek had a "brilliant" day taking in the Rotorua Kiwanis first Teddy Bears' Picnic.

The event was held at Kuirau Park on Saturday with more than 150 people and even more teddy bears at the family fun day to help raise funds for one of Rotorua's worthy causes.

Noah's mum, Sarah Mullen, said she heard about the picnic from a friend and thought it was a great way to spend Saturday afternoon with sons Noah and 15-month-old Finn.

"It was just a brilliant day. What an awesome way to get the community and kids out having fun together."

Noah enjoyed having a spider's web like Spiderman's painted on his face as well as the story tellers and other activities like the bouncy castle, she said.

"It was an amazing family atmosphere with lots happening."

Event organiser Selena Gaskill-Maxwell said they were stoked with the turnout and how the day went off magnificently, helping to raise around $400 which will be gifted locally.

"It went so well - so positively ... it was lots of fun. It was amazing to see so many families out and enjoying the day.

"The best part was the whole atmosphere. It was buzzing."

One young woman, who had a teddy bear given to her 26 years ago when she was in a car accident, left saying there needed to be more Teddy Bears' Picnics held, Mrs Gaskill-Maxwell said.

She'd never named the teddy and between them they decided to call it Miracle, she said.

It was nice to see the young woman win a spot prize, she said.

"It really made my day because she'd didn't think she should come. It's not just about kids.

"It's about getting people out and having a fun time."

Meanwhile, next year's picnic is in the planning.

"We know there are improvements to be made but this was our first one and it was a huge success."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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