Grande Prairie was the top fundraiser in this year’s Teddy for a Toonie campaign raising a total of $56,000 for the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation.

Communication and Grants Officer Melissa Savich says the money will allow them to provide more mental health services to children in the city.

“Most of the kids that are in need of mental health supports don’t have access to those facilities so adding funding for those will increase access for kids across our community.”

The annual campaign hosted by ATB Financial and the Stollery Children’s Hospital is in its 20th year of fundraising but this will be the first year the GPRHF will get a share of the proceeds.

In all, $178,000 was raised through donations and the purchase of teddy bears at bank branches across northern Alberta. Approximately $72,000 of that will be going directly to the hospital foundation for children’s mental health programs.

“The money in Grande Prairie is going to be used to support enhancements for the Youth Mental Health Lounge that will be in the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and then as well it’ll be for program support for the youth day program,” says Savich.

The money was handed out to the participating hospitals on August 23rd. Savich says the money for the new youth mental health lounge will be set aside immediately and the rest will be divided up between day services.