Presentation of $6000 Collected from Bears in the Air Program

South Bend, IN. In addition to 1266 newly purchased teddy bears, $6000 was collected from donors to South Bend International Airport’s (SBN) fourth annual Bears in the Air program to assist local veterans. On Friday, January 8, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board President Abraham Marcus will present the check to Kent Laudeman, Director of the Robert L. Miller Sr., Veteran’s Center.

“Over the past four years, we have raised a total of $22,000 to assist the veterans at the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center,” said Mike Daigle, SBN Executive Director. “We thank our corporate and individual program supporters. It is because of their generosity to the Bears in the Air program that it has grown allowing us to give back to those that have fought for our freedom. It’s our turn to give these individuals a chance to overcome circumstances and reintegrate into society through the help of the Veteran’s Center.”

The fourth annual Bears in the Air collection program began on December 4, 2015 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 at Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend, Saint Joseph Regional Health System in Mishawaka, Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart and Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph, along with 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.

Due to the support of the community, the program has enjoyed continued growth as an annual event at SBN.

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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