Bears in the Air Hopes to Make 7th Year the Luckiest Yet at South Bend International

Teddy Bears of all shapes and sizes will begin appearing in the main terminal building at South Bend International Airport first thing tomorrow morning as the 7th Annual Bears in the Air program touches down on a nearby concourse ready to roll.

South Bend’s largest and most lovable bear Stu D. Baker, South Bend Cubs President Joe Hart, St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board of Directors President David Sage, and airport representatives will all be donating the first bears to the program tomorrow morning, Wednesday, November 28th at 10:00 am, followed by a formal kick off on Friday night.

Bears in the Air will officially kick-off at SBN on Friday night, November 30th with a reception beginning at 6:00 pm. That event is open to anyone 21 years of age or older. The $15-per person entry fee will provide a teddy bear to a child in an area hospital and assistance to the veterans at the Robert L. Miller Sr. Veteran’s Center. Guests will enjoy a light buffet, cash bar, music and door prizes.

Anyone unable to attend the event is encouraged to donate to the program from now through December 17th, and donations can be dropped off at the Airport Information office in the main terminal building. The more donations collected allows for more smiles on children’s faces at area hospitals including Spectrum Health Lakeland and through greater assistance for veterans.

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Mike Daigle is Executive Director at South Bend International. He says, “We are excited to celebrate the program’s seventh year. Thanks to the support and generosity from our community, Bears in the Air has continued to grow significantly.” Daigle adds, “In the past six years, nearly 7,000 teddy bears have been provided to children in area hospitals and over $36,000 to the Veteran’s Center in downtown South Bend.”

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.

For additional information, you can log on 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 South Bend region, as well as the 7th Annual Bears in the Air collection campaign.