On Thursday a new fundraising program for the Clown Doctors Aruba was launched at a press conference at the Taste of Belgium, Palm Beach Plaza Mall. A soft blue bear was recruited to help the not-for-profit foundation in their efforts. As the bear travels around the globe escorting business people and families, he will be raising funds for the organization whose sole purpose is to bring smiles and hope to hospitalized children, mentally handicapped children and the elderly living in local nursing homes.
Our story begins with a little boy by the name of Julien Collot who owned the blue bear:
A little boy, a beautiful, super intelligent, tri-lingual kid from Chatham, New Jersey, with light brown hair and amber brown eyes, lost his fierce battle with Leukemia just a few months past his 8th birthday. His name was Julien Collot. He passed away on January 21st, of 2011, having been sick and hospitalized for over five years.
Julien was first diagnosed in 2006, and while his mom Jacqueline and his dad Thierry supported by a loving large extended family went to the end on the world and back in supreme efforts to ease his pain and fight for a cure, his two bone marrow transplants delivered further complications challenging and testing the limitations of modern medicine.
In his lifetime, Julien loved Aruba, and he came here a number of times with happy parents, grandparents and cousins. He celebrated his third birthday on the island, before the onset of his disease, in an unforgettable party, and always dreamed about coming back here, where his family owns timeshare condos, enjoying the friendship of many locals.
Julien’s mother Jacky, gave Peter Balliere, of the Clown Doctors Aruba foundation his blue bear, named Bear, hoping Bear will travel and have a great time, raising awareness for the disease as well as raising much-needed funds which will be used to bring hope to the hopeless, teaching everyday that we can make a difference.
With Peter Balliere’s help, Julien’s Bear embarked on February 21st, 2013, on his journey traveling the world reminding us of his mission. Bear is the main protagonist of this adventure, and he is inviting anyone and everyone to take him on a trip, a family vacation or a business meeting. Bear also loves conferences, and they could be anywhere in the world.
If you take Bear along as your companion, we ask you to make a small donation per mile traveled. Along with Bear comes an introduction letter to his travel companion. Ideally, the person who escorts Bear should spend time with him visiting points of interest in any community or city, taking his pictures at focal points of interest, for his Facebook page. It would be great if a story accompanies Bear’s trip, telling fans and friends where he’s been.
We would love to know where Bear went, as this is the wish of Jacky & Thierry Collot.
You may send the letter and pictures via email to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. When we receive them, we will map Bear ’s trip, post his experiences, and learn about the community he has visited. We will add the letter to his Facebook page, which will keep track of Bear ’s journey throughout the year.
If you have any questions or concerns about this project please do not hesitate to contact Peter Balliere at: email@example.com
Thank you in advance for your participation in Bear’s Story, in which an ordinary blue bear becomes an ambassador of hope!
Pictured here: The press conference to announce Bear’s travels at Taste of Belgium, with Godmother of the Clown Doctors Aruba Rona Coster and Godfather of the Clown Doctors Ruben Garcia, Mario Arends of the Aruba Tourism Authority who sanctioned the program by making Bear an official Ambassador of the Island of Aruba and Peter Balliere of Taste of Belgium with Esmerald Schotman who is in charge of organizing Bear’s schedule.