"Bears in the Air" raises $10,000 for veterans and 2600 teddy bears for kids

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend International Airport announced on Thursday that its 12th annual "Bears in the Air" program raised $10,000 to benefit local veterans at the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center at the Center for the Homeless.

“Having the ability to say that we’ve come together as a community to provide nearly $100,000 in assistance to the Veterans is truly phenomenal,” said Mike Daigle, South Bend International Airport’s CEO and Executive Director.

“The funds raised this year take our total to $96,600. We are grateful for those who contribute to the Bears in the Air program year after year – that unwavering support is why we are able to keep making a positive difference in the lives of those who fought with honor and courage for our freedom.”

According to airport officials, St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board President David Sage will present a $10,000 check to Chief Resource and Veterans Service Officer at the Center for the Homeless, Lani Vivirito on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m.

The presentation will take place at the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center.

This year's program began on Dec. 1 when travelers and the general public were invited to the kick-off party that took place in the airport’s terminal.

Officials say this donation is in addition to more than 2600 teddy bears that were delivered to children in five area hospitals last December.

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