Skydiving Teddy Bears to Help Local Kids with Cancer

March 11, 2013 Updated Mar 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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March 11, 2013 Updated Mar 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM EDT

AKRON, N.Y (WKBW) "Canopies for Kids" was started in Chicago as a way to help sick children deal with the stress of being in a hospital.

Skydivers strap teddy bears wrapped in plastic and jump out of a plane somewhere between 10,000 and 14,000 feet in altitude.

The bears are then donated to help inspire kids who are struggling with severe health issues.

Western New York Skydiving in Akron is now taking part in the program.

This past weekend, forty-five teddy bears made jumps, and local organizers plan to increase the number in the weeks ahead.

"We would like to get to 200," said Tim Allen, president of Western New York Skydiving.

The local parachutists are donating the bears to Carly's Club at Roswell Park Cancer Institute to help children with cancer.

"Being able to have a teddy bear that has done such a big procedure and was not scared, they {the kids} can look at that and say "Hey, you know what, I can try and get through that today," added Dr. Meghan Higman, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Roswell.

The public is invited to sponsor a bear for $20.

More information is available at www.wnyskydiving.com, or at the "Canopies for Kids" booth set up at the Buffalo Home and Garden Show.