South Bend, IN. – On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board President David Sage will present a $10,000 check to Lani Vivirito, Chief Policy & Resource Officer at the Center for the Homeless. The funds raised from South Bend International Airport’s seventh annual Bears in the Air program will benefit local veterans residing at the Robert L. Miller Sr., Veteran’s Center on the campus of the Center for the Homeless. This donation is in addition to the more than 2100 newly purchased teddy bears that were delivered to children in area hospitals in December.
“Over the past seven years, we have raised a total of $46,000 to assist the veterans at the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center,” said Mike Daigle, South Bend International Airport’s CEO & 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 year over year 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 seventh annual Bears in the Air collection program began on November 30, 2019 when travelers and the general public were invited to a kick-off party at the airport. The program provides both the donation of teddy bears to children at Beacon Children’s Hospital in South Bend, Saint Joseph Health System in Mishawaka, Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart, Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, and Plymouth Medical Center in Plymouth, along with a cash donation to the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center.
About South Bend International Airport
South Bend International Airport’s four air carriers provide nonstop flights to twelve cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, 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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