Eagle Scout candidate makes teddy bears for AMR
by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press
Jun 15, 2012 | 4417 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
American Medical Response public information officer David Durand and emergency medical technician Gail Carter look over some of the 120 handmade teddy bears being donated  to the ambulance service on June 6 by Ryan Wilson of Tracy Boy Scout Troop 503 for his Eagle Scout project.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
American Medical Response public information officer David Durand and emergency medical technician Gail Carter look over some of the 120 handmade teddy bears being donated to the ambulance service on June 6 by Ryan Wilson of Tracy Boy Scout Troop 503 for his Eagle Scout project. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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In his quest to achieve Boy Scouting’s highest rank, Ryan Wilson, 17, wanted to do something unique that would affect lives for generations, particularly those of little children.

After careful consideration, Wilson settled on an Eagle Scout project to create more than 100 handmade teddy bears for American Medical Response ambulance crews in Tracy. The bears would be used to comfort patients in the ambulance, particularly children and elderly men and women.

“Others built benches — I wanted to do more,” Wilson said. “I really like doing this. I really feel good about it.”

Combining a couple of stuffed animal patterns, Wilson said he designed and assembled 120 teddy bears using teams of volunteers. Focusing on safety, he said he made sure each bear had childproof eyes, sewn-on noses and ribbon collars in a variety of colors, including pink and blue with polka dots.

After more than 200 hours of labor, he presented AMR officials with boxes of completed teddy bears June 6.

Spokesman David Durand said the gift was more than welcome.

“I don’t think he understands the magnitude of the number of people he is going to affect in the community,” Durand said. “To help people you don’t even know, that shows heart.”

Durand said it was rare for AMR to receive a call from someone who wants to do something for the community. He said the teddy bears would act as security blankets for nervous patients.

Paramedic Cheryl Rindt seconded Duran’s enthusiasm during the June 6 presentation.

“This is so wonderful,” she said. “We got to see one (prototype), but seeing all of them is incredible. I’m so proud of him. He’s worked so hard.”

Wilson’s parents, Donna and Edward Wilson, accompanied their son to the AMR headquarters on Beverly Place.

Donna Wilson said his preparations began in January, and the project kicked into high gear in May.

“I think it’s really cool,” she said. “He’s helping children in the community … they’re so scared. Now they’ve got something to hold and get them through it.”

“I’m so proud of him,” said Edward Wilson. “It’s who he is — a sensitive boy, always nice to others.”

Wilson will go before an Eagle Scout board of review later this month to see if he has met all of the qualifications to become an Eagle Scout.

He graduated from West High School on June 2, and he plans to study communications at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, beginning in August.

• To reach Denise Ellen Rizzo, call 830-4225 or email drizzo@tracypress.com.
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