Collector - March 2018 - 6
ACA Member Preferred CMS Joins
Charitable Teddy Bear Roundup
CA International member company Preferred Collection and Management Services
Inc. in Tampa, Fla., contributed to a program last year designed to bring joy to the
lives of community members.
Preferred participates in multiple charity events throughout the year as part of its charitable
program, Preferred Gives Back, which was created by CEO and past president of the Florida
Collectors Association, David Kelley. This was the first year, however, that the company
participated in the John Winter Memorial Teddy Bear Roundup, which is held annually from
Nov. 24 to Dec. 18.
John Winter was a Tampa meteorologist for WFLA News Channel 8. He was also a
member of a charity group called the Rough Riders, and often spoke of taking teddy bears to
children in hospitals during his morning forecast, according to a news release from the ACA
The Tampa Rough Riders group was formed to preserve the memory of President Theodore
Roosevelt and his service with the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry in the Spanish-American War.
"Preferred knows that people don't get sick or need a dose of happiness just around
Christmastime, so we will work on collecting bears throughout the year for the Rough Riders
so we can continue to bless those who are going through a difficult time," said Erin Swartz, who
coordinated this first-time effort for Preferred.
The Rough Riders tends to stick specifically to stuffed bears because Teddy Roosevelt is the
namesake for the "teddy bear," according to a news release from Preferred.
Tony Bimonte, Teddy Bear Committee chairperson for the Rough Riders, said the group
hands out teddy bears at almost every hospital in Tampa, Saint Petersburg and Bradenton they
are invited to visit. It also delivers teddy bears to children living in shelters, senior citizens,
cancer patients and wounded warriors at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital.