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Bear Fever Coasters 2016

April 5, 2016 - Alert to Bear Fever Fans: Dancing Tree Creations Gallery and Artisans Studio and Studio B Announce Arrival of Second Set of Coasters

A second set of Bear Fever coasters featuring 4 different Bear Fever bears is now available at Dancing Tree Creations Artisans Gallery and Studio, 220 South Reading Avenue, Boyertown, PA, and Studio B Fine Art Gallery, 39A East Philadelphia Avenue, Boyertown, PA.

The coaster collection, a project initiated by Beth Rich and Lyn Camella, co-owners of Dancing Tree Creations Artisans Gallery, began as a fundraising opportunity in support of Studio B Fine Art Gallery. Jill Wentzel, of Jill Elizabeth Photography was enlisted to photograph each of the bears.

The second set features The Barrister, sponsored by 5 local law offices and decorated by Boyertown Area High School (BASH) art students under the direction of art instructor Thomas Dareneau; Bear-gon, sponsored by Drug Plastics and Glass Co., Inc. and decorated by Gail Fronheiser; Mary Beary, the Distelbear, decorated by Candi Haas-Simmons; and Spirit sponsored by a collection of Reading Avenue businesses and decorated by Arline Christ.

"We plan to introduce new sets of bears every six months or so," explained Rich. "Fans of the project can look forward to new sets as they are created," she continued. "The first set is nearly sold out-three sets are left and available at Studio B; but if there is a demand at some point, we can re-order."

The first set of coasters that were available in November 2015, included Gra-bear, the project's logo bear, designed by Paul Stahl and sponsored and decorated by Jeff Graber of Graber Letterin'; GI Joe, a community-sponsored bear led by BASH student Scarlett Kulp and decorated by Kylene Bertoia-Hart; Box, sponsored by Body Borneman Insurance and fashioned by Doug Davidheiser; and Townie, one of the project's prototype bears, funded by a grant secured by Boyertown Area School District and decorated by BASH students under the direction of Sandy Wood, former long-time art instructor and art instructor Debra Burkert.

Bear Fever, Boyertown's beloved public art project, features over 70 life-sized fiberglass bear sculptures decorated by local artists and sponsored by local businesses, individuals, and organizations. The project, begun in 2003, debuted 35 bears at Boyertown High School's annual Arts Expo in May 2005. Since then, the collection has doubled, and residents and visitors to the area continue their love affair with the bear statues.

"I knew folks would like our bears, seeing art on the street, learning more about art and artists, participating in the project, meeting the business people and community members who sponsored the bears; but I had no idea how much they would love the project," noted Jane Stahl, former BASH teacher and co-founder of the project with her husband Paul, marketing consultant and graphic artist.

"Paul figured the community could support the project of 40-60 bears; even he is surprised at how well-received the project has been in the community after all these years," she continued. "There seems to be no cure for Bear Fever."


Bear Fever Rages On in Boyertown
submitted by Bear Fever

Boyertown’s beloved community art project Bear Fever has experienced another outbreak this year resulting in new bears that can be spotted at assorted locations around Boyertown and outlying communities. In April 2009, Boyertown's Coming Out of Hibernation Festival welcomed several new bears at the festival; others spring arrivals could be found at their sponsors' chosen locations.

Spring debut:
Coming Out of Hibernation: “Bear-Aid,” sponsored by Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, designed by Linda Jacobs, of Epps Advertising, Collegeville, and painted by fine artist Paula Stackonis, is now located at the Boyertown Imaging & Rehabilitation Services, 23 N. Walnut St., Boyertown and is symbolic of the myriad of health care services provided by the hospital and its treatment center.

“Hul-bear” was sponsored by Loren and Jody Hulber of Macungie in celebration of their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and was designed and decorated by Pennsylvania Hex Sign artist Eric Claypoole. The Hulbers installed their bear at their home Fieldstone Farm in Macungie.

In addition, printmaker and metal sculptor Melissa Strawser gave Zu-bear a makeover. This snoozing beauty returned to the Boyertown branch of Zuber Realty sporting a new Southwestern-inspired color scheme.

Sitings in spring:
The parishioners of St. Columbkill’s Catholic Church sponsored their standing bear dubbed “Papa Popodickon” by Bear Fever’s Mama and Papa Jane and Paul Stahl until the official name is determined by the congregation. Papa Popodickon is currently residing inside the church. The artist for "Papa Popodickon" is Joe Szimhart of Douglassville. Joe lived as an artist in New Mexico, exhibited, and taught part-time at St. John's college in addition to sketching tourist portraits at state fairs, operating a studio featuring his charcoal and pastel work, and working at a psychiatric hospital. Joe is a member of Perkiomen Valley Art Association, exhibits at shows within the area, and is well-known at St. Columbkill's for his commission work of oil paintings depicting the Passion of Christ in 14 stations of the Cross.

“Bill,” a standing bear sponsored by mother Sara and daughter Tira of the late Bill Scheifley, owner of the former Scheifley’s Tree Service, stands proudly along Route 562 protecting Scheifley Hair Salon.

Summer debuts and installations:
There seems to be no cure for Bear Fever. Several bears debuted this summer and several others are planned for debut at Boyertown's Oktoberfest, scheduled for September 19, 2009.

Recent installations include "Celia," sponsored by Sealstrip Corporation, to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary in business. "Celia" was decorated by Alan MacBain, popular cartoonist for The Mercury, caricature artist, and artist participant in the Pottstown Carousel project.

All Balls Racing introduced "Spike" in New Berlinville this summer painted by artist Bob Williams. "Spike" was a Christmas gift from a loving husband to his beloved wife, one of the owners of All Balls Racing, Better Bearings and Components, a division of Power Sport Industries, Inc. "Spike" features a Mohawk and bold sunshades as part of his biker attire! Bear Fever fans will spot an unfortunate fly on his front tooth, an unhappy victim of a bear born to ride!

Boyertown High School's Class of 2005 debuted their finished bear during the district's 2009 graduation ceremonies. The bear features the school's signature colors--red and black--and a design offered by science instructor Clint Musser. "Al," was painted and prepared by Jeff Graber of Graber Letterin' in Earlville.

Fall debuts:
Joe Bear--created in memory of Joe Lopusky who died a year ago--will be installed at Ultimate Printing in Bally after his debut at Boyertown's Oktoberfest, scheduled for September 19, 2009. Joe Bear features the work of mural artist Bob Williams and sports images of some of Joe's passions--hot air balloons and Harleys. He is remembered and missed as a loving husband, father, and grandfather.

Loren and Jody Hulber will install "Flora," their second bear, in Jody’s Macungie garden following Oktoberfest. Bear Fever fans should make sure to come out to Oktoberfest to meet her/take photos while she's in town. "Flora" was decorated by artist Joe Hoover who painted Paul-Bear for Ott Funeral Bear as part of Bear Fever's 2005 collection. To celebrate the talent and dedication of this popular artist, the Hulbers are sponsoring a show of Joe's work at Studio B next July/August.

Bear for Sale: Bar-bear-a is offered for sale by Bertoia Studio and will be on display at Oktoberfest. Bar-bear-a was decorated by folk artist Barbara Strawser from Schaefferstown, PA. Barbara also created Glocker Real Estate 's "Homebody" and Herb Real Estate's "Herbie." Information about Barbara and Bertoia Studio can be found on the Bear Fever website; interested parties should call Val at Bertoia Studio to discuss purchase.

Bearitas available:
Bearitas, miniature-sized cement sitting bears, were created by sculptor Martha Cawley and are now made by Dr. James Tribbett. To “adopt” a Bearita, call 610-367-2020.

History and mission:
The project began September 2003, with a vision that Jane and Paul Stahl shared to mount life-sized bear sculptures—the community’s mascot—on the streets of Boyertown, PA. The Stahls were inspired by similar sculptures of donkeys and elephants in Washington, D.C. and the original Cow Parade staged in Chicago in 2000. The project secured initial funding through the assistance from a grant awarded to Boyertown Area School District designed to support projects in which students and community worked together.

By May 2005, over 30 Bear Fever bears debuted at the annual Boyertown Area Senior High School’s Arts Expo. The bears were sponsored by assorted businesses, organizations, and individuals and created by assorted artists—professional artists, volunteers, and students in grades Kindergarten-college. Currently, there are 58 bears installed in and around Boyertown and outlying communities.

Students worked with professional artists, business owners and their staffs, community members, and school personnel in a variety of efforts: promoting the project, developing additional community activities and business ventures related to its mission, marketing, fundraising, grant-writing, and publicizing the project in a variety of media.

Visit www.bearfever.org for additional details about the project and to download a copy of the map and a chart showing the locations of the bears. The website was created and maintained through the generosity of Media Fusion, Boyertown.



Boyertown, PA: No Place for Hate

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Boyertown, PA, is determined to demonstrate an appreciation for all individuals. The community is eager to spread a message of unity, to send out a welcome, to celebrate diversity in all forms.

The latest effort toward the goal has consumed the summer of 2009 for students, teachers, artists, and community members who have been busily painting panels for an 18 by 36-foot diversity mural to be installed on the wall on the side of Rita’s water ice, 309 East Philadelphia Avenue, Boyertown.

Since the beginning of July, the group of dedicated volunteers has spent almost every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the art room of Boyertown Junior High East or the auditorium of the Odd Fellows Hall, 35 East Philadelphia Avenue.

The project was initiated by Boyertown’s Diversity Committee and the No Place for Hate program developed through the leadership of junior high school principal Greg Galtere. Junior High West was the first school in the district to earn the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate banner in 2005 by completing several activities promoting diversity.

The Diversity Committee developed the mural project to establish a permanent message that Boyertown is a welcoming place for everyone. Parrish and Brenda Stauffer, co-owners of Rita’s Water Ice, volunteered the side of their building for the mural.

The mural embraces the message of the No Place for Hate program and features a parade of walkers of the annual Unity Walk with a No Place for Hate banner and familiar Boyertown landmarks in the background.

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Amanda Condict, graphic artist and Education Director of Studio B, an art gallery and teaching studio in Boyertown, created the design of the mural. She then transferred the design onto 30 individual panels of inexpensive polyester interfacing.

Volunteers paint each section following a numbered paint chart, much like a paint-by-number painting. Then, they will infuse the finished panels onto the wall and complete the spaces and details. The vibrant scene includes more than 85 different colors of acrylic paints.

Working side by side with artists--Amanda Condict, Pamela Pike, Patricia Milam and Arline Christ--student and adult volunteers learn about painting and drawing techniques and problem solving and observe different styles and talent.

Olivia Miller, student volunteer, explained, “A while ago, people thought Boyertown was racist but that has changed,” she said. “The mural helps to get the message across that we have changed.”

The school district’s 17-member Diversity Committee, comprised of parents, school district officials, and business owners, is funding the project using a portion of grant funds from the Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County and money received from the Boyertown Area Ministerial Association (BAMA) from donations at its annual Dr. Martin Luther King remembrance service.

The Diversity Committee invited Studio B's artists to coordinate the project which began as a simple request to paint the No Place for Hate logo on the building.

“I remember when KKK members stood on the corner in Boyertown,” said BAMA member Pastor Dave Lewis. “Now, instead there will be a mural that shows how Boyertown really feels.”

For more information about the mural contact Amanda Condict at 610-845-8851, acondict@condictandco.com.



Who's Your (new) Daddy?:
The cement tabletop models of Boyertown's Bear Fever bears are now
being created by Dr. James Tribbett. Dr. Jim is taking orders; e-mail him at jimbogramps2@yahoo.com or call 610-367-2020. "Bearita," the Doc's "first-born," was christened April 14, 2008, and will be on display with a few of her brothers and sisters ready for "adoption" at Boyertown's annual Sidewalk Expo, scheduled for June 17, 2008.

 

 

Committee Members:
Amanda Cappelletti, Marianne Deery, Jill Dennin, Linda Flederbach, Judy Hunter, Jenna Johnston, Gretchen Lea, Josie Moore, Christy Pierce, Jane and Paul Stahl, Alicia Yerger, JoCarol Zuber

Creative Contributions:
Dustin Adamski. Ralph Borneman. Boyertown Area Times . Bill Cherkasky. Jim Davidheiser. Jody Dolansky. Sarah Elphick. Bob Eppihimer. Caity Fisher. Bill Flederbach. Graber Automotive. Elaine Hardenstine. Katie Harned. Steve Henshaw. Robin Huiras. Scott Lobaugh. Kevin MacMinn. April Madonna. Dale Mahle. Anna Manthey. Kaela Mast. Aishah McNeil. Media Fusion Technologies. Tasnah Moyer. Tanya Peters. Pottstown Cable Television. Dick Powell. Reading Eagle . Zach Reinert. Elise Sherman. Ross Smith. Dave Stahl. Jeff Stahl. Jackie Sugg. Diane VanDyke. Christiana Weidner. Patti Wilkins. WPAZ 1370 Radio. Richard Zuber.

A Thank you to the Pottstown Mercury Editor

Editor: 
Thank all of you at the Pottstown Mercury for the wonderful gift you all gave to Boyertown's Bear Fever fans from near and far away in providing the recent poster and feature story about the Bear Fever project. Paul and I couldn't be more pleased!

Brandi Kessler, please accept my personal...and, as a fellow writer, my professional...applause for such a well-written and positive article! You'll want to know that your work has received many compliments in the past several days from many people for many reasons! You captured the spirit and mission of Bear Fever beautifully and I'm very, very grateful for that aspect of the piece especially. 

(BTW: I loved the stories and images you chose from our conversation for the piece. The line that ended my quilt story--and the history of the project--was perfectly placed, superbly crafted, and created just the right emotional tone. Very nicely done.)

And, you were able to get absolutely every detail correct in that piece Capturing all those details for such a lengthy article from a phone conversation with Paul and me which covered several years and many people was no small task! You go, Girl!

John Strickler, thank you so much for spearheading the idea. Many Bear Fever fans have suggested that we create such a poster of all the bears. Paul's been waiting for the project to be finished before he starts--or maybe waiting until he retires--or both. In any case, since that may take awhile, I know the community is grateful they didn't have to wait any longer to hunt for all the bears.

John, thank you also for the photograph of Paul and me with the Gra-bear. Your instructions were to give me a 20/20 vision--20 pounds thinner and 20 years younger. I'm pleased with the image!

Gene, thank you for your work in marketing the effort which allowed for the funds to run the contest and the poster. I'm hopeful that all the businesses who supported the project benefit from their generosity and your efforts. 

We hope that Bear Fever fans will patronize especially Bruce Conrad and Systems Service Heating and Cooling--the patron for the poster--in thanks for their contribution to the project. For their contribution, they could have bought their own Bear Fever bear or two. Instead, they gave us all a gift. We must all thank them.

Marjo Powers, thanks for your skill and accuracy and patience in allowing me time and opportunity in your presence to proofread the piece, make last minute changes, and accept photos of our two bears in progress at the very last minute. Our sponsors and artists thank you for accommodating us and making sure they were included. 

Publisher Tom Abbott, thank you for supporting Bear Fever and our communities, for giving the "go ahead" and the assistance to your staff in accomplishing what Andy Rooney encourages: providing "the right example at the right moment [that] can make [a positive] difference in the way men act." Showcasing the good news in these troubled times is deeply appreciated and necessary for our spirits.

As the article says, however, we're not looking for a cure for Bear Fever. We want the spirit and mission of the project--developing even greater community cohesiveness, promoting art, encouraging artists, and providing opportunities for folks of all ages to come together to work hard and have fun--to rage on and on and on. 

The reason for this season--peace on Earth, goodwill to men...and women...pretty much says it all, I guess. Again, thanks for your good work in achieving Bear Fever's mission and in making a difference in our world together! 

 


Mercury Article By Brandie Kessler
bkessler@pottsmerc.com

BOYERTOWN --- Hunting bears isn't a seasonal sport in Boyertown anymore, it's an all-year event which brings people from near and far to town to track the creatively crafted bears that sit on sidewalks and outside of businesses thro-ughout the community.

And the best part is you don't even need a license for this bear hunt, which can be done on foot or by car.

Less than five years ago retired Boyertown English teacher Jane Stahl came up with the idea for a community art project in Boyertown. Her brainchild has made its mark leaving bear tracks all over the borough of Boyertown and its surrounding communities.

Stahl said she was inspired by the Cows on Parade art project in Chicago, that her husband Paul introduced to her. The exhibit debuted in the summer of 1999, and featured hundreds of beautifully mastered bovines that were displayed, or paraded,

on the streets of Chicago and has become an international craze.

During a trip to Washington D.C. in 2002, Stahl said she encountered another public art exhibit when she saw artistically created donkeys and elephants called Party Animals, as she emerged from the metro and was walking around the city.

“Everytime I came up (from the metro) I thought, ‘Oh my god, isn't this charming. It's like art on the street for regular people.'”

Stahl said she came home and pitched an idea to her husband.

“When I came home I said, ‘Isn't this cool?' I said, ‘Can we do bears in Boyertown?' and he (my husband) said ‘Do you have any idea how expensive this project would be?'”

Stahl said her husband, humoring her passionate nature, did some research and using his marketing background discovered that a community art project the likes of what Stahl had in mind could be feasible in Boyertown, but would need the support and financial backing of the community

“At that point I was a teacher at Boyertown High School and my network at that point were students, were people wanting to relate the community with the schools doing a variety of different projects,” Stahl said. Her husband told her to talk to her people, and he would talk to some of his, to find out whether anyone else would have a sincere interest in bringing the bears to Boyertown.

“I just remember Paul saying, ‘See what the people who you know, either community people or school people, think about this project.' Could they get behind it?”

Stahl said both she and her husband received good feedback whenever they talked about their idea.

“Everywhere that Paul went, people thought it was a great idea,” Stahl said. “My people thought it was a wonderful idea.”

When she talked about the purpose of bringing bears in the form of art to Boyertown, Stahl said it wasn't just aesthetics or having art for art sake that was appealing to her.

“Back in the early part of this millenium there had been a lot of friction among different groups here in the world,” Stahl said. “Democrats, Rebublicans; Israelis, Palestinians.”

When she was in Washington, D.C., a friend of hers bought a book about the Party Animals.

The book's introduction “talked about how the project brought together people who would have never come together. It talked about the cohesiveness, about how it brought the community, Washington, D.C. together,” Stahl said. “At that point Washington, D.C., was known as the murder capital of the world.”

If Washington, D.C. could benefit from a public art project like the Party Animals, then “certainly every community in the world, including Boyertown, could profit” from a similar project.

“That was the mission really, to offer a project that would bring together businesses, artists, and community people to work together on something fun, something cool, something beautiful,” Stahl said.

In 2003, when she went back to school at the beginning of the year to teach, Stahl said she learned that money was available that needed to be spent on a project that would involve the students working with the community. Stahl said it was as if the bears project was meant to happen because that got the ball rolling.

She pitched the idea to her students and found about a half dozen sophomore honors students who expressed a true interest in really getting involved with the project, which was aptly named Bear Fever.

Stahl said the students who got involved jumped head first into the project, really embracing the project and taking full charge from the beginning.

“They (the students) became out marketing agents,” she said.

Stahl explained that Bear Fever is not for profit and that each of the bears were going to cost a certain dollar amount. In order to cover the cost of the bears, sponsors were needed. So the students along with Stahl hit the pavement and began knocking on the doors of area businesses looking for people who wanted to support the idea they were so impassioned by.

Stahl said the first of many important lessons the students learned throughout their involvement with Bear Fever came as a direct result of dealing with the businesses as they pitched the idea for Bear Fever

to the business owners.

“It was so cool, when the kids and I, the very first day went cold calling, they were nervous, and I said, ‘Don't worry, if you see enough people and you believe in the product you'll be successful,'” Stahl said. She taught the children that they might be rejected, but if they were persistent they could make it work.

She said she learned this idea herself when she sold World Books in Denver, Colo., years ago, and she passed the idea on to her students.

“We knew that if we contacted enough people that one out of 10 people would say ‘Yeah, tell me about the project.' And one out of those 10 people would say ‘Yeah, I'll sponsor a bear.'”

Stahl said Bear Fever continued into the summer of 2004 when she and the students pressed forward trying to get sponsorships for more bears.

“On sunny days in my pool we passed the phone around,” Stahl said. We had a whole list of people and “invited them to be part of the Bear Fever public art project.”

In addition to watching her students learn and grow from their Bear Fever experience, Stahl experienced something she didn't expect.

“What I ran up against were adults whom I had taught years and years ago, saying ‘Is she as crazy as she used to be?'”

One such example, Stahl said, was when she took students to meet with William F. Strock Jr., at the Linwood W. Ott Funeral Home.

Stahl said he talked with her then current students and reminisced about when she taught him.

“Everywhere I went there were people I had taught years and years ago, and they had happy memoires about our working together,” Stahl said. “It was such a gift at the end of my career to meet up with these young people -- to see your life reflected back at you in such a positive way.”

“The thing I didn't expect, the happiest thing for me, was that your life comes back at you,” Stahl said. “Those kids who I had taught back in the early 1970s and now met up with as adults in 2003 ... your life comes back at you. I guess I haven't practiced putting it into words, it was such a wonderful experience meeting up with these people. That whole effort came back to me as a gift.”

Stahl said she was in awe of the way the community embraced the students she accompanied to pitch the Bear Fever project, and their professionalism and the way they conducted and carried themselves.

“When the community people got involved, they fell in love with the students,” Stahl said. “It was just the coolest, coolest thing to do.”

“There were days when I would go and introduce the project to different business people and they were very gracious to me, but when I took students with me, it was magic.”

Stahl said she was so pleased, also, with the way the community received Bear Fever.

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dale Mahle who made the annual (Boyertown Area) Progress Dinner in January of 2004 all about the bears,” Stahl said. “She gave me some time to introduce the program to many movers and shakers in the community.”

After the Progress dinner, Stahl said the decision was made to unveil the first Bear Fever bears at the Boyertown High School Art Expo in May 2004.

Stahl said students with the help and guidance of faculty members Debbie Burkert, Sandy Wood, a former art teacher who came back, and Thomas Dareneau, worked on the two bears that would be debuted.

“Those particular teachers, along with the kids, created the first bears ... so that people would get an idea of what we were doing,” Stahl said.

Before and after the debut of the first two bears, students were attending municipal meetings, looking for people they could talk to to spread the message of Bear Fever.

Stahl said throughout the winter of 2004 and the year 2005 more bears were delivered to artists and in May 2005 at the Boyertown High School Art Expo about 30 more bears were unveiled.

“So that was the debut of the bears, and of course after the debut of the bears, some people decided they needed a bear and so we've been selling them ever since,” Stahl said.

Now there are 49 bears throughout Boyertown and the surrounding communities.

While Stahl said she doesn't have just one favorite bear, her husband's favorite is the Gra-Bear Fever bear, created by Jeff Graber of Graber Lettering, which makes its home outside of the Karver/Boyd office.

Stahl's husband, Paul, explained that he helped design the bear, which displays the Bear Fever logo and Web site on it.

“They're all pretty favorite,” Paul Stahl said. “But Gra-bear is graphically phenomenal.”

Another tremendously crafted bear, according to Paul Stahl, is the Mommy and Me bear, created by artist Beth Wagner, which is located at the YMCA Gilbertsville branch, and took the artist more than 300 hours to complete.

Paul Stahl said he's pleased to have had a hand in bringing the bears to Boyertown and being able to work with so many people to make the project happen.

“As far as the project goes, there are a lot of individuals who were in

volved,” Paul Stahl said. “It's nice to have the bears on the street.”

Paul Stahl said he realized that, unlike some of the other public art projects throughout the country, in order for Bear Fever to be successful and for the sponsors to get something out of it, they should be able to keep the bears and display them.

With the bears displayed all over town, the Stahls said people come from all over to go on their own private bear hunt.

“Our first visitors from Rochester, New York, actually do this (visiting public arts projects) as a hobby,” Paul Stahl said. “We get visitors from other states, from all over the place.”

Jane Stahl said she gets a kick out of her mother, who watches some of the bear hunters who take a close look at the bears.

“There's a bear that sits across from my mother's house,” Stahl said. “She's 86 years old. She tells me, ‘You can't believe all the people who stop, take pictures with the bears, pet the bears.' Not only are the people who I don't know appreciating the bears, but even my own mother.”

Stahl said one the bears has brought her incredible joy over the past few years.

“One of the most special hours in my entire life and in my entire teaching career happened right before the debut of the bears,” Stahl said. “Diane Van Dyke (of The Boyertown Times) came to interview the students who were involved (with Bear Fever). The final question she asked them had to do with what had they learned.”

“Listening to those half a dozen young people say what they learned from the project --- I could have died right then and there,” Stahl said. “They talked about the confidence the project had given them. ‘You pick yourself up and try, try again.' They learned that anything was possible. What they developed was self confidence ... to be productive and be a part of the community. It's something that no one could have given them, except, perhaps through an experience like this. They learned a great deal about the community and themselves.”

Stahl retired the same year the students, who as sophomores helped her spread what would become an epidemic of Bear Fever in Boyertown, graduated from High School.

“We all graduated together,” Stahl said.

She credits Bear Fever with providing her and her students “a belief in themselves and the opportunity to make a difference in our community.”

While the story of how the bears came to Boyertown is a charming one, there must be people out there wondering, “Geez, Jane, didn't you ever tire of all the bear madness?”

Stahl answered this question with a story.

She said she bought a quilt with bears on it from a department store back when Bear Fever just started to come together. She remembered looking at the quilt, wondering whether in a few years she was going to throw it out because she would be overcome with Bear Fever.

“But,” Stahl said, “I still have the quilt, and I don't want to throw it away.”

 

TRAVIS ZIMMERMAN MEMORIAL FUND

Background:
The Travis Zimmerman Memorial Fund grew out of local efforts to commemorate Travis Zimmerman, a 2005 Boyertown High School graduate who died on April 22, 2006, while on duty in Iraq. Following his death, Boyertown High School junior Scarlett Kulp, her mother Janet Kulp, John Leffel and John’s daughters Anna and Melissa – neighbors of the Zimmerman family – began raising funds with the intent of purchasing a Bear Fever bear to be specially sculpted in a saluting pose and installed in Travis’ honor.

Their efforts were so successful and inspirational that they caught the attention of Richard A. Zuber and his associate, Shawn Haviland. Fundraising efforts brought in gifts of over $10,000, well above the cost of the bear, which has been sculpted and is now being decorated.

To ensure that the excess funds were used to appropriately honor Travis, and to launch an effort to commemorate all Boyertown area citizens who have served their country, Mr. Zuber established the Travis Zimmerman Memorial Fund at Berks County Community Foundation on May 19, 2006.

About the Fund:
The Travis Zimmerman Memorial Fund is in its infancy and the complete details of how it will take shape are in the planning stages. At this point, however, it is anticipated that a portion of the fund will be spent outright and a portion will be permanently endowed at Berks County Community Foundation. The permanent fund will also be called the Travis Zimmerman Memorial Fund. Variables that will affect the direction of the fund will be the cost of the expected activities and the level of charitable giving to the fund. What follows is the “ideal” vision of the fund, as agreed upon by all who have been involved at this point, including Travis’ mother, Gail Camperson:

First, Berks County Community Foundation will award a commission grant from the fund to design, create and install a permanent memorial, to be placed in a public and easily accessible location, which will honor all residents of the Boyertown Area School District who have died in the line of military duty since Boyertown’s incorporation in 1866.

Second, funds will be set aside to maintain the Bear Fever bear created in Travis’ honor for the duration of the bear’s natural life, which is approximately 10 years. Any such funds remaining when the bear is retired will be placed into the permanent fund described below.

Third, all remaining funds will be set aside to permanently endow the Travis Zimmerman Memorial Fund, which will make annual distributions – in perpetuity – to (1) maintain and preserve the permanent memorial, and (2) provide general education and scholarship funds for service-men and -women who return to live in the Boyertown Area School District, to cover tuition expenses not covered by the GI Bill and incidental expenses related to education, such as books, child care, transportation and the like.

The concept for this fund was borne out of the belief that the Boyertown Area community has an obligation, and will certainly respond to a challenge, to not only memorialize Travis Zimmerman for his service, but to honor all such local heroes who have died in military service. And just as important is to say “thank-you” to those who return by helping to ease their transitions back into civilian life.

For more information about Berks County Community Foundation and the Travis Zimmerman Memorial Fund, please contact Thomas J. Moore, director of philanthropic Services, at 610.369.3631, or by email at tomm@bccf.org.

 

Barb and Kent NussmanBarb and Kent Nussman of Rochester, New York, re-visited Boyertown's Bear Fever project recently and were escorted to some of the project's lesser-known bear dens. Pictured with the Nussmans at his home in the hills of Bechtelsville is Prince Law Firm's "BooBoo," an Alan MacBain tribute to those requiring legal help in Workman's Compensation cases.

The Nussmans have visited over 100 community art projects like Bear Fever in the past 5 years, have created an extensive collection of photographs from each project they've visited and shared that they'd vote for Boyertown's Bear Fever bears as one of their favorite collections!

Dustin Adamski stands among smiling faces in the shrubbery welcoming visitors to BASH's 2006 Arts Expo. Dustin has the distinction of having sold a Bear Fever bear all on his own to his own orthodontist during a routine. What a salesman!

Jeff Stahl, coordinator of performance arts for BASH's Arts Expo, shows up for practice with dinner in hand.

Colorful native masks greet visitors to the 2006 Arts Expo.

Right down the street from the Arts Expo, Mary Lou and Charles Haddad hosted a small event to honor Marianne Deery, Boyertown's Citizen of the Year 2006.

Looking dazed and confused, friend of Bear Fever, Vickie Brown browses the “hard copy” of the project's website.

Bear Fever infects fans with smiles: Kevin, Reagan, and Amy have caught the fever!

Bear Fever fans examine the latest additions to the collection at BASH's Arts Expo 2006.

The new season's line up of Bear Fever bears!
In their “raw” form, the fiberglass bears provide the “before” look to complement the “after” look of the completed models.

02/24/06 | Bear Fever Makes Audio Tour Available

Do you know the sad, yet touching, story behind the YMCA’s “Mommy and Me” Bear Fever bears? Can you name all the Boyertown landmarks represented on “Townie,” the Bear Fever bear stationed inside Mayor Marianne Deery’s Twin Turrets Inn?

Have you wondered what the abstract design of St John’s Lutheran Church’s bear symbolizes? Have you considered the coat on the bear at Good Shepherd’s representative of the Biblical story of Joseph and the “coat of many colors?”

Do you know that many businesses along Reading Avenue sponsored the bear on Frecon’s hill or that artist Alan MacBain used the classic Disney template to construct the face on "Bubbles," O'Brien and Gere's bear? Were you aware that the Ott Funeral Home bear is named “Paul Bear” or that National Penn Bank not only sponsored three Bear Fever bears of their own but also added TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce’s Bertoia bear to their collection?

If you’ve ever wondered about the artists or sponsors or meanings behind the Bear Fever bears, you may have visited www.bearfever.org, the project’s website donated by Media Fusion Technologies where you found informative essays about each of the bears, the artists and the sponsors written mostly by Boyertown High School students.

But beginning with Building a Better Boyertown’s “Coming Out of Hibernation” festival, March 18, 2006, information about Boyertown’s Bear Fever bears will also be available—for rent or purchase—on CD. Bear Fever fans will have an opportunity to listen to students and business and community leaders discuss the artists and sponsors of the community’s Bear Fever bears whenever they like.

Since November 2005, Pottstown’s WPAZ 1370 radio staff volunteered studio time, expertise, and equipment to audiotape and produce the Bear Fever Audio Tour. Students who wrote the essays for the project lent their voices to the tour along with some of the bears’ sponsors and notable members of the community.

Featured voices are Mayor Marianne Deer, Ralph Borneman, Richard Zuber, Charles Haddad, Linda and Bill Flederbach, TriCounty Area Chamber’s president Dale Mahle, Linda Austerberry, Jackie Sugg, and artist Alan MacBain.

Student voices include Jody Dolansky, Sarah Elphick, Caity Fisher, Elaine Hardenstine, Katie Harned, Jenna Johnston, Anna Manthey, Aisha McNeill, Tasnah Moyer, Elise Sherman, Christi Weidner, and Shanea Wisler. Each of the project’s initial 36 bears is introduced on the audio tour.

Copies of the Bear Fever audio tour CD’s will be available for rent (refundable) or purchase for $5.00 at Twin Turrets Inn, the Building a Better Boyertown office, or by calling Jane Stahl at 610-367-8066 after March 18, 2006.

02/16/06 | Running with the Bears in Boyertown:
Art and Artists Tour Featured at “Coming Out of Hibernation” Festival

Mark your calendar: on March 18, 2006, as a feature of Boyertown’s second “Coming Out of Hibernation” festival, a variety of area and internationally renowned artists will “show their stuff” throughout the Boyertown community hosted by Boyertown’s businesses.

The following businesses are offering their space or storefronts as galleries for the event and eagerly invite the artists to display their work for sale. Brian and Karen Kuszyk of TK Productions will host the works of the mother and daughter folk artist Barbara and printmaker/sculptor Melissa Strawser and brother and sister sculptor Val and painter Lesta Bertoia in the Strawser Bertoia/ Bertoia Strawser Le (Bear) Fevre Four Seasons—Four Artists Show.

Grace Pirog of Gracefully Framed looks forward to making room for the watercolors of Ineke Van Werkhoven. Nicole Nye of Bella June Beauty Salon will provide Linda (Rohrbach) Austerberry plenty of room in her salon to display her pottery to the accompaniment of harpist Betsy Chapman; the Building a Better Boyertown office will the feature work of Boyertown High School students.

Marianne Deery welcomes visitors to enjoy the architectural artistry of Twin Turrets Inn, the collection of antiques which decorate the Inn and the work of local artists Julie Longacre, Alice Gerhart, and Dave Larson found in Room 8; Will Dexter and Etta Boettger of Taylor Backes and Tibitu Glassblowing have new work to show throughout their three display rooms.

Boyertown’s “galleries” will welcome visitors from 10:00-6:00 p.m. Local wineries, including Blair Vineyards, Manatawny Creek Winery and Wright Wine Works, will offer samples from their vineyards from 4:00—6:00 p.m. to add to the event’s endeavors to introduce artists and businesses to the community.

Frecon’s Orchard Outlet will be offering visitors taste any of the six varieties of wines that the Blairs are currently offering from their Vineyard. They will also receive a coupon for a 10% discount on any of the Blair Wines to be purchased on the weekend of the Hibernation event (March 18 & 19) at Frecon Orchards Outlet, located at 501 South Reading Avenue in Boyertown.

Additional artists are invited to enter the Boyertown Tour of the Arts…Downtown. Contact Jane Stahl 610-367-8066, janeEstahl@aol.com for further details.

To add to the celebration of art during the Coming Out of Hibernation event, tour guides will conduct Bear Fever tours beginning at 12:00 p.m. and provide information about each of the bears’ artists and sponsors as well as general information about the project.

Audio CD tours of Boyertown’s Bear Fever bears will also be available—for rent or purchase—for anyone wishing to take a personal tour and yet have guided access to the information about artists, sponsors, and the project itself found on the project’s website www.bearfever.org sponsored by Media Fusion Technologies.

Pottstown’s WPAZ radio staff volunteered studio time, expertise, and equipment to audiotape and produce the Bear Fever Audio Tour. Students who wrote the essays for the project lent their voices to the tour along with some of the bears’ sponsors and notable members of the community. Featured voices are Mayor Marianne Deer, Ralph Borneman, Richard Zuber, Charles Haddad, Linda and Bill Flederbach, TriCounty Area Chamber’s president Dale Mahle, Linda Austerberry, Jackie Sugg, and artist Alan Mac Bain.

Student voices include Jody Dolansky, Sarah Elphick, Caity Fisher, Elaine Hardenstine, Katie Harned, Jenna Johnston, Anna Manthey, Aisha McNeill, Tasnah Moyer, Elise Sherman, Christi Weidner, and Shanea Wisler. Each of the project’s initial 36 bears is introduced on the audio tour.

The evening’s feature event, a “Black Tie” Dinner and “Oldies” Dance, sponsored by Boyertown’s largest civic organization The Raccoon Club, will offer hot dogs and sauerkraut as the single entrée; birch beer on tap will be provided for the event at an admission cost of $5.00 for Raccoon Club members and $6.00 for non-members.

The “Black Tie” event will begin with a videotaped “Red Carpet” interview by Zach Reinert of WZAR Internet TV (weather permitting). Guests are welcome to attend in any attire; the single dress requirement is wearing a black tie. Black ties will be available to purchase prior to admittance.

Ron Gerhart, District Deputy Grand Master of Odd Fellows, will DJ the event. Gerhart’s CD collection provides favorites from the ‘50’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Gerhart encourages guests to bring their own CD’s and make requests.

Bearing the motto “Community Service Without Stress,” the Raccoon Club’s event will feature a relaxed atmosphere and promises “fun for the whole family.” Community members are encouraged to join the fun by bringing their favorite music, comedy routine, or instrument. “Open Mike” opportunities are planned throughout the evening.

Installation of the Raccoon Club’s newest elected president Ross “Squiggles” Smith is also on the program for the evening.

Desserts created by community members are being sought to become part of a dessert contest. Winner of the most popular entry will receive a raccoon hat; all participants in the contest will be recognized.

Some entries are expected to be offered by local eateries; others are expected to be homemade. Items that are “homemade”—not in health-inspected kitchens—will feature information about the dessert itself and those who prepared it to help provide appreciation for the culinary artists within the community.

02/13/06 | Bear Fever Announces Affordable Tabletop Bears Available from Sculptor Martha Cawley

Look out! Bear Fever continues to spread throughout the Boyertown area and beyond. But this latest outbreak, in the form of tabletop-sized models of the project’s sitting bear form, has addressed requests by many Bear Fever fans since the project began.

“From the very beginning of our project, many fans of Bear Fever have wanted to own their own bear but in an affordable, smaller size,” explained Jane Stahl, the project’s initiator. “Some of Bear Fever’s fans had seen our tabletop fiberglass model from Cowpainters, Inc., but the price tag attending anything made out of fiberglass kept it out of the range of possibilities for even the most ardent fan,” Stahl continued.

“So, when Paul and I ran across some of Martha Cawley’s dog sculptures in cast stone at an art show last fall, we asked Martha if she’d be willing to create a Bear Fever form. She agreed and is now taking orders for her bears.”

The cast stone bears are created first from a clay model such as the one featured at Boyertown’s recent Progress Dinner. From the clay model a latex mold is produced with a rigid “mother mold” over that in which a cement-based mixture can been poured and allowed to set.

Following demolding and the removal of parting lines, Cawley will prepare the statues for their immediate placement in the home or garden or for the owner’s painting or decorating as desired. Cawley estimates that the cost of the unpainted bear statues will be $80.00

“Our Bear Fever fans will be able to decorate their own bears, so I guess we’ll have to have a show of some sort next year so that folks can showcase their work,” Stahl said. “Martha took some orders for statues the night of Boyertown’s Progress Dinner; I’m eager for a few to be placed around town, so folks can begin to imagine designs for their bears.”

The little bear belonging to the YMCA's Growing Dreams' "Mommy and Me" set is the size of Cawley's bear. Visit www.bearfever.org for a look at the bear's size and shape.

Cawley can be contacted by phone 610-845-3434. She has been a resident of Barto, PA for 37 years. During these years she has produced woodcut prints, wood and ceramic sculpture and sculpture for industry. Cawley has stone statues, suitable for garden sculptures, representing 40 different breeds of dogs.
She is currently developing a collection of pedigree dogs adding new ones as requests are received. She is a vendor at numerous dog shows in and around eastern Pennsylvania where her statues can be purchased as well as at her studio. A detailed page on each breed is available upon request showing several views of the statue along with its dimensions.

05-07-05 | Boyertown High School: Arts Expo, May 7, 2005

Please contact Elizabeth Wagner, art department chairperson at 610-369-7435 for further information.

Boyertown High School's art department is hosting its 13th annual Arts Expo on Saturday, May 7, 2005, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the BASH (new) auditorium and gym lobby.

Dramatic and musical performances are held in the auditorium; visual artwork is displayed in the gymnasium lobby.

Two one-hour acts with an hour intermission are scheduled during the evening. An opportunity to view the visual art is provided before, during intermission, and after each performance.

The Arts Expo is an excellent opportunity for all people to discover their artistic talents throughout BASH and display students pottery, painting, computer design, music, and/or dance. Those who are moving on to some form of Art school are spotlighted with their own showcase of art work.

The Expo is also a scholarship program; all proceeds go towards scholarships for students pursuing an education in art.

Expo officers include President Chris Harley, Vice President Janelle Heckman, Secretary Crystal Zakszeki, Treasurer Noelle Croner and Amanda DelliGatti.

The Dance Ensembles for this year include all types of dance such as tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop. Members include Cindy Watras, Colleen Ferrizzi, Jenna Miller, Adam Price, Emily Price, Lindsay Stapleton, Erin Weigand, Noelle Croner, Amanda DelliGatti, Chandra Bortz, Emily Erb, Samantha Hartz, Nicole Miller, Stephanie Friel, Heather Crits, Jenna Greb, Alyson Carosello, Julia Bouchat, Dani Ryan, Dana Scamardi, Stacy Moser, Devon Ganter, and Meredith Hampton. There is also a belly dance number with Danielle Hunsberger and Jessi Mest.

Along with dance there are a large number of bands performing songs such as jungle love, craig's song, and pinball wizard. Performers in these bands include Jake Cleary, Warren Major, James Major, Ben Major, Bob Eppler, Chris Harley, Tim Cantlin, Mike Weldon, Mike Panepinto, Bill Moore, and Steve Hicks.

Also featured in the Expo will be some solo acts such as a vocal/guitar performance by Greg Taylor, a baton twirling number by Amanda Gunther, a violin solo by Lauren Romero, a comic interpretation by Steve Francica, and a gymnastics act by Elizabeth Albrecht.

Our poets this year include readings by Corey Gruver, Jon Dimedio, and Heidi Hershberger.

BASH's very own drama club will also be doing a performance entitled "Hold the Tomatoes!"

Duo's include a guitar/vocal performance by Bobby Laird and Nora Algeo, a piano duet by Molly Keck and Gaby Haddad, and a piano/violin/voice performance by Kelsey Lee and Kimberly Beard.

Additional features include instrumental percussion by Josh Hish, Terrance Anderson, and Bobby McNamara and original instruments and music by Chaz Squillace, Brandon Gramm, and Brad Pizavchik.

Computer Graphics videos include "Sabotage" by Paul Crognale, Drew Robinson, and Colin Benfield and "Dream" by Valerie Fraske and Valerie King.

Seniors planning to attend art school include Ryan Kulp, Kira Frech, Jared Mest, Evan Dutcher, Mary Schwenk, Josh Keebler, Mike Panepinto, Janelle Heckman, Jennifer Yates, Ashlee Baus, Megan Nicholas, Jennifer Miller, Valerie Fraske, Danielle Prestia, Jared Smith, Katrina Wallace, Betsy Kline, Colin Benfield, Shane Davis, Heather Crits, Lauren Varady, Jared McManus, Sam Dunfee, Christine Lomnychuk, Joshua Graul, Mike Weldon, Krysta Knaster, and Chris Harley.

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05-07-05 | Notice to Bear Fever Artist or Sponsor

Dear Bear Fever Artist or Sponsor,

The countdown has begun for the grand debut of our 37 Bear Fever bears at Boyertown High School’s Arts Expo on Saturday, May 7, 2005! We’re so excited!

Here’s our “Honey Do” list:

  1. Artists: As soon as your bear is finished, please contact Paul or Jane Stahl at 610-367-8066 to arrange pick-up of your finished bear. We’d like as many bears to be clear-coated as possible for the Arts Expo. (They look terrific wearing this coat which also protects them.) We need at least 10 days before the Expo to arrange for clear coating.

  2. Artists and Sponsors: Plan a display of your work or business at the high school on May 6-7.

    We're inviting each artist AND sponsor to set up an information table or display on May 6 and 7 as part of our promotions activity. Artists are encouraged to bring work to display and/or sell. Sponsors are encouraged to bring brochures, business cards, and any other display material.

    We're eager to promote everyone who has so generously contributed to Bear Fever in some way.

  3. If you are interested in being part of this opportunity for promotion, please let me know before April 30 by e-mailing jstahl@boyertownasd.org and glea316@ceinetworks.com. Further details will be provided at the time of your RSVP.

  4. Artists: Boyertown High School’s coordinator for the gifted program Jeff Stahl would like to invite you on May 6, 2005, to meet with some students in the gifted program to chat about your art, the creation of your Bear Fever bear, your career in the arts, etc.

    Kindly RSVP to Jeff Stahl if you are willing to participate in this educational opportunity for students. He can be reached by calling 610-563-1707 or by e-mailing jdstahl@boyertownasd.org. Further details will be provided at the time of your RSVP.

  5. A student should be calling you in the next few weeks to interview you and to take some photographs of you in you studio or place of business. This connection is what we call our Adopt-a-Bear program and is an effort to increase career development opportunities for our students.

    We hope these same students will be available to assist you on May 6 and 7 to set up your displays for the Expo and for the gifted seminar.

Again, we thank you so much for your participation in our public art program. The response to our project has been overwhelmingly positive for our combined missions of creating greater community cohesiveness, promotion of the arts, and development of career development opportunities for our young people.

Your generous contributions of time, money, and energy will make a difference in the lives of all the many people involved in the program—young and old—and in the quality of life in the Boyertown Area School District community.

Such a legacy is priceless. And we hope to have a good time too!

Looking forward to meeting with everyone on May 7, 2005.

 

Sincerely,
Jane Stahl, Promotions
Paul Stahl, Marketing and Design
Gretchen Lea, Liaison to the Artists
Jill Dennin, Bear Fever Coordinator
Jeff Stahl, EHOC Coordinator


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05-07-05 | Debut of Boyertown's Bear Fever Public Art Project

We're so excited! The debut of Boyertown's 37 Bear Fever bears is coming May 7, 2005, at Boyertown Senior High School, as part of the school's annual Arts Expo.

And we'd like you to come to our celebration.

The Bear Fever project, in the works since September 2003, involves area artists, sponsors from the area's businesses and professional offices, and students and staff members from the school district's 10 elementary and secondary schools.

Hundreds of students have been involved in the project since its inception in a variety of ways: decorating bears using a variety of artistic media, developing and actualizing promotional events, public speaking, fundraising, writing, photography, videograhpy, creating sales and tourism efforts, graphic design and advertising.

And it is in the high degree of student involvement that the Boyertown project stands out from many other projects of this nature across the globe.

In addition to the Bear Fever bears, the artists and the sponsors of the bears will be "on display." We want the entire community to get to know its talented artists. Displays will be set up to feature each artist. Some artists may bring their work to show and sell.

And we want the entire community to meet the people who support these types of projects. The businesses and professional sponsors are invited to set up display tables as well.

Our goal during the Arts Expo is, of course, to showcase our bears but also to demonstrate that the people who live and work in Boyertown support one another.

The event also provides another opportunity for many circles of people within the community--who may not often have a chance to mingle with one another--to get to know one another better.

Bear Fever's mission, along with developing greater community cohesiveness (needed in a community that sometimes creates news regarding tolerance and diversity issues), includes promotion of the arts and providing career opportunities for students.

Please join us. Call Jane or Paul Stahl for further information regarding the event 610-367-8066 or e-mail us @ stahlmarketing@comcast.net, jstahl@boyertownasd.org

Visit our website donated by Boyertown's Media Fusion Technologies www.bearfever.org

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05-01-04 | Bear Fever Due to Hit Arts Expo May 1, 2004

Boyertown High School’s twelfth annual Arts Expo, scheduled for May 1, 2004, 5:00-10:00 p.m., will introduce the first two bears of Boyertown’s public art project entitled Bear Fever.

One of the bears is described as a two-dimensional bear; the other is described as a three-dimensional bear. The “2-D” bear is painted and features landmark buildings and structures within the community. A sense of history is created by images of coal miners and the railroad; a sense of the character of the community is reflected in the choice of buildings, the colors, and the memories of the artists represented in symbolic ways. Retired BASD art teacher Sandy Wood and BASH students have been working on the design and painting of the bear since the bears’ arrival at BASH in January 2004.

The “3-D” bear makes an environmental statement through the use of recycled aluminum tin cans. This bear wears a suit of “armor,” symbolically protecting him from the hazards of living in the modern world.

Both bears were secured through grant money which funded assorted student-community organized projects throughout the district March 2003-September 2003. Funds from this grant were also utilized to create BASH’s Outdoor Classroom and to begin work on a dance studio at BASH.

“We are eager to introduce the first two Bear Fever bears and allow the community not only to meet the bears, but to meet the artists of the bears: retired art instructor Sandy Wood, art teachers at Boyertown High School, and the students who have worked on the bears, other artists who may be interested in creating Bear Fever bears, and other interested business or community sponsors,” noted Jill Dennin, coordinator for the Bear Fever project.

“Of course you’ll also meet many other of Boyertown High School’s creative and gifted students and staff and enjoy the many forms their artistic efforts employ. The Arts Expo has been one of BASH’s most popular community events throughout its history, and Bear Fever is proud to be included in this student show,” said Jane Stahl, teacher at BASH and one of the originators of Bear Fever.

Gretchen Lea, Director of TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Arts Council, commented, “ Bear Fever's mission to build greater community spirit and community will involve hundreds of students. They'll learn how to work with businesses, artists, the media, and community citizens as they ‘spread’ Bear Fever.

“ The activities are designed to develop career awareness as well as provide experiences and opportunities to further students' leadership, communications, and team building skills.

“Being an artist takes one type of skill, while marketing your art requires other skills. By working together, the students will give everybody a chance to "catch a piece of the Arts."

Bear Fever’s mission is to build greater community spirit and cohesiveness through this unique art project. The project also seeks to involve hundreds of students in assorted activities designed to develop career awareness as well as provide experiences and opportunities to further the students’ leadership, communications, and teambuilding skills.

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01-13-05 | Boyertown Progress Dinner News

January 19, 2005 – Bear Fever will be showcasing completed bears at this year’s Boyertown Area Progress Dinner to be held at the new La Massaria at Bella Vista Golf Course. If you are interested in attending this year’s progress dinner, please contact the TriCounty Area Chamber at www.tricountyareachamber.com, or call them at 610-326-2900.

WARNING! If you have not has your Bear Fever Flu Shot it is highly recommended that you do so before observing these bears. YOU WILL CATCH THE FEVER!

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