Las Vegas native Stefan "Bear" Rzesnowiecky, 15, who drives the No. 3 Legends car at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will visit and hand out teddy bears to the children in the Pediatric Units at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals - Siena Campus, on Friday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. in support of Children's Miracle Network.

Stefan earned his nickname at an early age from his grandmother. She said he would growl at her when he was just a few months old and the name has stuck with him ever since.

"I don't ever remember not being called Bear", said Rzesnowiecky. "It's fun to take something personal, like my nickname and use it to give back. I can't wait to see the faces on the kids in the hospital when we come with the different bears".

The Rzesnowiecky's are no strangers to community service, and have different teddy bears made each year for the numerous races that take place at the Bullring at LVMS. They have Legends teddy bears and ASA Speed Truck panda bears. Bear uses his nickname to bring smiles to the faces of children who are in need.

Rzesnowiecky, who graduated this month from Silverado High School at age 15, will begin his collegiate career in the spring of 2008 at the College of Southern Nevada. He finished school early to put more emphasis on his racing career, as he dreams of one day racing in NASCAR.

Bear's racing career began at the age of five. Over the past 10 years, he has raced go-karts, Bandoleros and Legends cars across the west and has taken home numerous trophies. He won his first championship this year by taking home honors in the Legends Pro Division. He finished the season with six wins and 12 top-five finishes in 12 starts.

"I have been very blessed throughout my racing career and have won races at many different levels at LVMS and across the west coast" Rzesnowiecky said. "The most significant award I have won was the 2006 Sportsmanship Award, which was presented to me and my family last year at the 2006 Bullring Banquet."

Only one driver and his or her family each year is presented with the Sportsmanship award. The Sportsmanship award is given to a competitor who throughout the entire season positively contributed to the Bullring and the overall success of the track.

Debi Walsh, director for the Children's Miracle Network, came across Bear's story and is thrilled to have him spread holiday joy to the children in the Pediatric Units at St Rose Dominican Hospitals.

"We are so excited that Bear will be able to visit with the kids and hand out his signature bears," Walsh said. "It will mean so much to the children and will take their mind off being in the hospital, if only for a little while."

Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of sick children by raising funds to provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education for 170 premier hospitals across North America.