South Bend International Airport Staff to Deliver Over 1,500 Bears to Local Hospitals

South Bend, IN. More than 1500 newly purchased teddy bears have been collected at South Bend International Airport (SBN) as a result of the fifth annual Bears in the Air program. SBN’s Executive Director Mike Daigle and SBN team members will present the bears to pediatric department representatives at Lakeland Health on Thursday, December 21 at 10:00 a.m. The following day, the bears will be presented at Memorial Children’s Hospital at 9:00 a.m., Saint Joseph Health System at 11:30 a.m., and Elkhart General Hospital at 2:00 p.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.


The bears will offer companionship and smiles during a child’s difficult time. Each hospital will distribute the bears to young patients as they see fit.


“We could not be happier with the results of the Bears in the Air program as we celebrate five years,” said Mike Daigle, SBN Executive Director. “Thanks to our donors, we have surpassed our goal of 1500 bears. Without the support of our community, this program would not be where it is today. We are touched and grateful.”


The Bears in the Air collection program began on December 2, 2016 when travelers and the general public were invited to donate a newly purchased teddy bear or make a cash donation. The program provides both the donation of teddy bears to children and a cash donation to the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center. A “Bear Den” inside the terminal served as a collection point for the bears.


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.


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