The White Bear Lake Area Hockey Association’s newest ambassador made its debut in downtown White Bear Lake earlier this week and is set for an extended summer engagement bringing awareness to our mission.
The impressive 640-pound concrete bear sporting two pairs of skates, black breezers, an old-school jersey and a snug-fitting helmet has taken up residence in front of the Goodthings store — located on Fourth Street between Banning and Washington Avenues — for the next several weeks.
It is one of just nine bears included in the All-American Bears Tour, a community event developed by the White Bear Press for the annual Manitou Days celebration. The yet-to-be-named black and orange monument to the WBLAHA will greet city residents and visitors alike throughout Manitou Days and Marketfest.
We invite you to join our Twitter campaign to help us name our bear. Simply send us a tweet at @wblhockey with your suggestion using the hashtag #NameTheBearWBL. We’ll select the best nominees from the submissions and create a poll on wblhockey.com for you to cast your vote to select the winning name.
Each of the 3-foot-tall bears on display at various locations throughout the community is uniquely decorated to represent the mission of area nonprofit organizations. Those wishing to 'tour the city' to see all nine bears can download the White Bear Press’ All-American Bears Trail Map and pick up an All-American Passport from local businesses to document their travels.
“The goal is to get families and kids in our downtown learning about the hidden gems that are our local nonprofits,” White Bear Press publisher Carter Johnson, chairman of this year's Manitou Days, told the Press.
The WBLAHA joins the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, the White Bear Lions Club, the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf, Explore White Bear, White Bear Area Historical Society, White Bear Lake Area YMCA, Lakeshore Players and the White Bear Lake Fire Department among the nine nonprofits participating in the event.
The bears are eligible for up to three awards, two of which are voted on by the general public. Ballots for the self-explanatory “People’s Choice Bear” and the “Mission Bear” (judged to best represent the nonprofit’s mission) are included in the All-American Passport which can be turned in to the Press Publications office, (4779 Bloom Ave.) for entry into weekly drawings for gift cards from local businesses.
So get out there and vote!!!!
The “Judges Choice Bear” is decided by judges representing event sponsors Mueller Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Goodthings and White Bear Smiles. Winning bears will earn cash donations from Press Publications for their nonprofits.
“We want kids and families to come to White Bear and look for our bears, and we want to encourage them to submit their best family photos with bears on the White Bear Press Facebook page,” Johnson, a lifelong White Bear Lake area resident, told the Press. “We'll give away prizes for the best photos, and publish the winners in the paper.”