Patients at children’s hospital Hringur in Reykjavík were paid a visit by a friendly polar bear yesterday. The fluffy mascot was donated to the hospital by private citizens.
Polar bear “Hringur” visited the children in the hospital’s play room yesterday, chatted with them and played instruments. The children were happy and curious about this strange visitor, reported Morgunbladid.
The mascot is a donation from couple Anna Marta Ásgeirsdóttir and Ingólfur Arnar Gudmundsson, who have been wanting to create a polar bear mascot for the hospital for four years.
They hope the bear will serve as the face of children’s hospital Hringur and as a comforting pal for hospitalized children.
The couple started a private fund to turn their idea into reality, but soon realized that it wouldn’t be enough. When they got married in 2005 they asked guests to make donations to the polar bear fund instead of bringing presents to their wedding.
Donations totaled to a sum of ISK 700,000 (EUR 7,589, USD 10,053), enough to launch the project.
The couple asked illustrator Jón Hámundur and designer Gudmundur Thór Kárason to help with Hringur’s creation and actor Björgvin Franz Gíslason to form its character.
Puppet designer Mary Robinette Kowal made the final touches to polar bear Hringur and yesterday it visited the children’s hospital of the same name for the first time.
The couple told Morgunbladid that they have enough money left in the fund to arrange for future appearances by the mascot at Hringur. They said they hoped their idea would be an inspiration to others.