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Algeria Shriner donates 8-foot wood carved bear to hospital

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Kermit, Becky, bear and others

At a recent auction, Kermit and Becky Andersen witnessed the remarkable creation of an 8-foot wood carving of a mama bear and her cubs. They immediately pictured patients of the Spokane Shriners Hospital running up to hug the baby bears and take photos.

Kermit, an Algeria Shriner for the last 50 years, and his wife, Becky, knew that they wanted to do something extra special in support of the hospital.

The bear and cubs were crafted by Todd’s Chainsaw Art near Bigfork, Montana, and auctioned off to Kermit and Becky. The couple drove the bear over from Montana on July 16 to deliver it in person. With the help of two local Bouten Construction workers, the bear was safely transported onto hospital grounds, where it now lives as a tribute to the hospital’s beloved “Fezzy the Bear” mascot.

Moments after the bear was placed on hospital grounds, two patients ran up to hug the baby bears and have their photo taken. Kermit and Becky had tears in their eyes as they witnessed their vision come to life. “We are just passionate about what we do and helping kids,” said Becky.

“There is something truly extraordinary about the care experience in this hospital in the way it inspires our community,” said Spokane Shriners Hospital Stewardship Specialist Lisa Smith. “Kermit and Becky are a wonderful example of the kind and giving hearts that help to make this a family-centric environment, bringing a sense of welcoming and comfort to so many patients and their families.”

Bear being unloaded