Teddy bears donated to fire department to help 'scared' children - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Teddy bears donated to fire department to help 'scared' children

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Vladimir Romano visited the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters Tuesday morning. Vladimir Romano visited the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters Tuesday morning.
Vladimir Romano donates 25 teddy bears to the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters Tuesday morning. Vladimir Romano donates 25 teddy bears to the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters Tuesday morning.
Vladimir Romano shows off one of his teddy bears before he donates them to the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters Tuesday morning. Vladimir Romano shows off one of his teddy bears before he donates them to the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters Tuesday morning.
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BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

A 10-year-old boy used the money that he earned from selling lemonade to help buy teddy bears to help children being assisted by the Bridgeport Fire Department.

When Vladimir Romano was 3 years old, he had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance because he had a 105-degree temperature.

Vladimir said he was scared. That is until a firefighter handed him a stuffed teddy bear, which Vladimir said made him feel much better.

Vladimir's mother, Merian Schwindeman, helped him start a lemonade stand years later to raise money for teddy bears.

"I'm going to give it to the fire department, so they can give teddy bears to kids," Vladimir said while visiting the Bridgeport Fire Headquarters.

In five years, Vladimir raised enough money through his lemonade and cookie stands in the summer and apple cider and doughnut stands in the fall to pay for 400 teddy bears. 

"I don't want people to be more scared than I was," Vladimir said.

Vladimir was able to buy the bears from Melissa & Doug toys at wholesale price.

On Tuesday, Vladimir donated 25 teddy bears to the Bridgeport Fire Department, which was his biggest donation.

"I can't imagine a better and more thoughtful gift," said Mayor Bill Finch. "As a city, we are deeply appreciative to Vladimir and his family."

Vladimir, who was voted one of the eight coolest kids in the USA by Scholastic Magazine 2013, said he hopes to meet first lady Michelle Obama and take the program nationwide. 

"I wouldn't be surprised if that happened," Schwindeman said.

Anyone interested in donating is asked to visit the Teddy Bear Fund by clicking here.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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