First Bears to be Donated to South Bend Internatioanl Airport’s Bears in the Air Program

South Bend, IN. – The sixth annual Bears in the Air program lands at South Bend International Airport with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, St. Joseph County Commissioner Dr. Deb Fleming, St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board of Directors President David Sage, and South Bend Chocolate Company Owner Mark Tarner, donating the first four bears to the program on Tuesday, November 28 at 9:00 a.m. A “Bear Den” inside the terminal has been created to collect newly purchased teddy bears from December 1 through December 18, 2017. The bears will be given to children at local area hospitals to offer companionship and smiles during a difficult time.

Travelers along with the general public are invited to donate a newly purchased teddy bear. Teddy bears will also be available for purchase in the airport’s gift shop.

Bears in the Air officially kicks-off with a reception on Friday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m. Entry into the event is a $15 donation per person. The funds collected will provide a teddy bear to a child in area hospitals and provide assistance to the veterans at the Robert L. Miller Sr. Veteran’s Center and a teddy bear.

“We are excited to celebrate the program’s sixth year. Thanks to the support and generosity from our community, Bears in the Air has grown significantly,” said Mike Daigle, SBN Executive Director. “In the past five years, over 5,000 teddy bears have been provided to children in area hospitals and over $29,000 to the Veteran’s Center in downtown South Bend.”

About the South Bend International Airport
South Bend International Airport’s three air carriers provide nonstop flights to ten cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York City/Newark, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg with connections world-wide. South Bend International’s multi-modal terminal serves over one million air, rail and bus passengers each year. According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report from the Aviation Authority of Indiana, South Bend International’s total annual economic impact on South Bend and surrounding communities was in excess of $1.7 billion.