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January 29, 2020
WHO:                                       Dr. Jay Asdell, St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board President
                                                 Lani Vivirito, Center for the Homeless Chief Policy & Resource Officer

WHAT:                                     Presentation of $10,000 from Eighth Annual Bears in the Air Program
WHEN  :                                   Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE:                                  Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center, 747 S. Michigan St., South Bend

South Bend, IN. On Thursday, January 30, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. St. Joseph County Airport Authority Board President Dr. Jay Asdell 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 eighth 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.
The funds will be allocated to the Miller’s Vets Color Guard and to create a secured outdoor recreation area for all residents to enjoy. The Color Guard has been a part of the Center since its inception and serves over 100 events annually including funerals, sporting events, VFWs, and other events as they are called upon to serve.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide another $10,000 in assistance to the veterans at the Robert L. Miller, Sr. Veteran’s Center,” said Mike Daigle, South Bend International Airport’s CEO & Executive Director. “Over the past eight years, we have been able to provide donations to the veterans totaling $56,000. It is especially fitting that we chose today to present this donation on the Center’s eighth anniversary.”
The eighth annual Bears in the Air program began on December 6, 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 thirteen cities:  Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York City/Newark, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg with connections world-wide. South Bend International’s multi-modal terminal serves over one million air and rail passengers each year. According to the 2012 Economic Impact Report from the state aviation association, Aviation 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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