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

South Bend, IN. – The fifth annual Bears in the Air program lands at South Bend International Airport with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, St. Joseph County District 2 Commissioner Dave Thomas, and St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board of Directors President Abe Marcus donating the first three bears to the program on Tuesday, November 29 at 10:00 a.m. A “Bear Den” inside the terminal has been created to collect newly purchased teddy bears from December 2 through December 21, 2016. 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 2 at 6:00 p.m. Entry into the event is one newly purchased teddy bear or a $10 donation per person. The money collected will be donated directly to the Robert L. Miller Sr. Veteran’s Center and a teddy bear will be delivered to a child in area hospitals.

“We are excited to celebrate the program’s fifth 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 four years, over 3,500 teddy bears have been provided to children in area hospitals and $22,000 to the Veteran’s Center in downtown South Bend.”

WHO:        South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg
St. Joseph County District 2 Commissioner Dave Thomas
St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board of Directors President Abe Marcus

WHAT:       Fifth Annual Bears in the Air Program
Mayor Buttigieg, Dave Thomas, and Abe Marcus place first bears in the
“Bear Den”

WHERE:      South Bend International Airport Atrium east of Delta ticket counter

WHEN:       Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

10:00 am Press Event Begins
– Abe Marcus, St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board President
– Explains Bears in the Air program
– South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Dave Thomas Comments
– Why programs like this are important to the community
– Mayor Buttigieg, Dave Thomas and Abe Marcus
– Place first bears in “Bear Den”

10:15 am Individual interviews


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.

For additional information, please refer to or get social with SBN on Facebook (, Twitter (@SBNairport) or Instagram (@SBNairport) to stay informed about the airport and the carriers that serve the Michiana region.

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