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Bearfootin' bears debut

Hendersonville showed off 21 bears for the 2016 season during the Bearfootin' Bear Reveal Friday. Hendersonville showed off 21 bears for the 2016 season during the Bearfootin' Bear Reveal Friday.

The Bearfootin’ Bears of 2016 made their debut Friday afternoon as an overflow crowd chuckled at and clapped for downtown’s best loved public art.

A crowd of young and old and in between filled the First Citizens Bank Plaza and overflowed to the street for the official kickoff of the 14th annual display, which has included bears most year with goats mixed in. The 21 bears — single and with a cub, standing or on all fours — will grace street corners on Main Street through Saturday, Oct. 22, when they will be auctioned off for charity. The bears have raised more $220,000 for local charities over the years.
New this year is a roving bear in the Historic Seventh Avenue District. To enter to win a Seventh Avenue gift basket, snap a selfie with the bear and post it on the downtown Hendersonville Facebook page. The winner will be drawn on Oct. 22.
This year’s bears, sponsors, artists and beneficiary (if different from sponsor) are:

  • Grace and Luther, Grace Lutheran Church; church members; IAM and Homes for Youth.
  • Pooch Bear, American Legion Post 77, VFW Post 5206, D.A.V. and Voiture 1617; Andrea Martin; Henderson County Honor Guard.
  • Bearers of Hope, Safelight, Miriam Hughes, Timothy Day, Betty Stebbins and Mary G. Olson; Believe Child Advocacy Center.
  • Promise, Blue Ridge Humane Society; Bethany Joy Adams.
  • Bearing Courage, Pardee Hospital; Breanna Villars Collins; Pardee Hospital Foundation.
  • Ursa, Habitat for Humanity; Suz Roach.
  • HeCTre, Hendersonville Community Theatre, John Arnett.
  • Need Has No Season, The Salvation Army, French Broad X.
  • Bear P. Ark, Friends of Carl Sandburg, Susan Olivari.
  • Olivia United and Little LU, Kimberly-Clark Corp., Pam Gessler, United Way of Henderson County.
  • Crescentia (Latin for Thrive), Horizon Heat and Air Conditioning and Whit’s Frozen Custard, Bayleigh Janusik, Housing Assistance Corp.
  • City Pride, Hendersonville Bar Association, West Henderson High art students C. Gillespie, V. Mao, T. Ozehowski, K. Petri, D. Ramackers, A. Wilkins, with instructor Kelly King; Pisgah Legal Services.
  • Orso Gemello “Sister Bear,” Hendersonville Sister Cities; Sandee Setliff.
  • Care and Compassion, Wingate Universities, Charlene Bregier, The Free Clinics.
  • Mediation Bear, Joyce and Don Huber; Joseline Xaldana and Mykal Prather, the Mediation Center.
  • Ins‘bear’ational Indigo, HopeRx, Amy Donaldson.
  • Bennett, 100 block Sherman’s Sports & Army Store, Moe’s Original BBQ, Scarlet, Attorneys Title, Homestead Fine Linens and Carolina Cottages, Brant Harris, Community Partnership for Pets Inc.
  • “Blaze a New Trail,” Mast General Store, Natalie Hudson, Friends of Ecusta Trail.
  • Alan, Hannah Flanagan’s, Beverly Russell, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
  • Traveling Bear, Carolina Specialties Construction, Kara Ashley Gilmore, Historic Seventh Avenue District and Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County.