Friday, January 29, 2010

What Bears Fans Do

There is a game tonight but due to time constraints I won't have a preview up today...instead please read John Walton's post from yesterday about Bears fan Jason Hartle:


Late Wednesday night, not long after watching Washington take apart the Anaheim Ducks in the third period for another Red, White and Blue victory, I received an e-mail from Heather Faulhefer, a reporter from the Evening Sun newspaper in Hanover. She brought a story to my attention and an appeal for help from a fellow Bears fan that has been dealt a cruel setback.

The link to the article is here, and it documents better than I can the recent struggles of Jason Hartle. Jason is a Bears fan from York Springs, and even though he has cerebral palsy, he doesn’t let that stop him from an active lifestyle that includes coming to see the Bears play at Giant Center. He was last to a game on December 6 when Hershey played Hartford, and has not been to a game since because his handicapped-accessible van was stolen from his home the next day. If you’re like me, this story will put a lump in your throat. I can’t believe anyone would sink so low as to steal a handicapped-accessible van from someone, but that is the sad reality of this story. We can’t control bad things that happen to people. But what happens next, we in Bears Nation do control, and on behalf of all of us, Jason, we’re going to make this right.

I spoke with Heather this afternoon, and learned that Jason has a downpayment on a replacement van, but is about $3,000 short due to a shortfall in his insurance when his van was taken from him. I ask those who read this site daily to help Jason out this weekend at Giant Center. I’ve already spoken to Cathy Rynard from the Hershey Bears Booster Club, and the HBBC will have a place at their table (outside section 117 at Giant Center) to accept donations for Jason. As noted in the article here, there has been a special account at Members 1st Federal Credit Union created for Jason, if it’s easier for you to make a donation directly there. If neither of these options work for you, drop me a note at and we can make some other kind of arrangement.

I posted this article late last night on Facebook and Twitter, and already have received many e-mails and inquiries about it. To those who already plan to give to help Jason out, we thank you very much for your support. To those reading this for the first time, please consider a donation at the HBBC table this weekend. Ten dollars, five dollars, or even just a dollar, we can make this happen for him by this time next week, and that in my mind is the goal. You’ll be helping out a big Bears fan get back to the games he loves so much.

We’ve got your back, Jason. That’s what Bears fans do.

Here is something from John Walton seems that many have come out in support of Jason:


It's been a pretty moving 24 hours seeing the response to Hershey and Washington fans about Jason Hartle and his story. Not only have I received a lot of e-mail from Bears fans confirming their donations either the home games this weekend or at a Members 1st Federal Credit Union (to the "Jason Hartle Mobility Fund" if you're out and about today), but I've also gotten several notes from fans in D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia, asking what they can do if they're not coming to games and they are without a place to donate. For anyone that fits that description, drop me a note at and we'll make arrangements for you. My thanks to the D.C. blogging community for picking up this story from me and posting it so the folks that "Rock the Red" hear about Jason's story.

Again, the Hershey Bears Booster Club will be accepting donations for Jason at this weekend's games at Giant Center. Their table is behind section 117 on the concourse. Cash or check is good, with checks made payable to "Jason Hartle Mobility Fund". If you're near any Members 1st Federal Credit Union here in central PA, you can go there and make your donation directly if you like. I will be featuring Jason and his story on the broadcast tonight at intermission as well.

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and again, if it's ten dollars, five dollars, even a dollar, it's all very much appreciated and will help Jason get back to the games again.

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