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    Highland Park Market Rolls Out 'Bears for Kids' Program

    Shoppers at the grocer's stores across Connecticut can now buy $5 teddy bears for children who've undergone traumatic experiences.

    Highland Park Market, in conjunction with the Connecticut Police Chiefs Associations, yesterday launched the "Bears for Kids" program at Highland Park's locations in Manchester, Glastonbury, South Windsor, Suffield, Farmington, and Coventry, Conn., as well as on its Web site, www.highlandparkmarket.com.

    The object of the initiative is to get teddy bears into the arms of children emotionally scarred by such traumatic events as domestic violence, natural disasters, and accidents. Although such comforting items could stave off possible long-term psychological effects, they can be expensive and in short supply, so "Bears for Kids" aims to help the almost 100 town police departments and state police barracks in Connecticut procure the necessary numbers of furry friends.

    Shoppers in the state who wish to buy one or more bears for $5 each may do so at any Highland Park Market location or online. Cards featuring the donor's name(s) will be prominently posted in the stores.

    "This program is long overdue," said Tim Devanney, c.e.o. of Farmington-based Highland Park Market. "Our hope is that in short order, we will build the supply to beyond capacity in each police department and barracks."

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