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Meissner Sewing Offers RARE Opportunity

Emily Achondo

This Spring, Meissner Sewing in Santa Rosa is offering a RARE opportunity.

In partnership with RARE Science, Inc., Meissner’s Santa Rosa will be sponsoring a number of workshops where you can use your sewing skills and come together with other creative individuals for a great cause.

According to the organization’s website, RARE Science. Inc. “is a non- profit research organization that focuses on accelerating identification of more immediate therapeutic solutions for kids with rare disease potentially through repurposing currently approved drugs and other therapeutic approaches.”

As part of this mission, the organization offers its RARE Bear program, where individuals can join forces to create unique Teddy Bears, which are presented to one-of-a-kind children with one-of-a-kind diseases.

Alys Hay, Meissner Instructor, extended this opportunity to the Meissner community after hearing about the program through a blog belonging to well-known quilters Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, Hay said.

“I knew immediately that this was a cause that I wanted to support and signed up to make a bear,” Hay wrote in an email. “While I was making it, I realized that I wanted to share this opportunity with others.”

So Hay presents an opportunity to join the program to the Meissner community.

“The RARE Bears bring such joy to the children that I knew that the Meissner community would want to be part of helping with that cause,” Hay wrote.

In preparation for the workshop, students should check the Meissner Sewing website to download the supply list. Meissner Sewing will provide RARE Science logo fabric, RARE Bear labels and the project pattern, but Hay asks that students bring other various sewing supplies. The full list can be found with the class listing on the Meissner website.

According to Hay, this workshop will take students through the process of creating the RARE Bear “skins.” The organization has enlisted a team of volunteers to embroider the bear faces and Girls Scout troops to stuff them. During the workshop, each group will choose to make the bears individually or to work collectively in an assembly-line style, and the goal of each workshop is to complete the bear skins, Hay wrote.

Each bear will have a serial number sewn into it, and when it is presented to a child, the bear’s creator will receive a photo of the child with his or her bear, Hay wrote.

The full workshop description and registration can be found at, and the next opportunities to attend a free RARE Bear workshop are the following dates and times:

·         February 11, 2017; 10:30am-1:30pm

·         March 25, 2017; 2:30pm-5:30pm

·         April 11, 2017; 10:30am-1:30pm

Register at:

“Almost all of us have a family member or friend that has been affected by a ‘rare’ disease,” Hay wrote. “This is a very effective way to show those children and those families that they are loved and not forgotten.”


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