SALT LAKE CITY (October 10, 2013) – Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has officially declared October 10, 2013 as the Utah Jazz Bear 20th Anniversary Day in a declaration issued and presented to the Jazz Bear at the State Capitol today.
An excerpt from the declaration states, “the State of Utah wishes to congratulate the Utah Jazz Bear on his 20th anniversary and commend his invaluable contributions to improving our residents’ quality of life.”
The Utah Jazz Bear first made his debut in front of Jazz fans on November 4, 1994, and has entertained the home fans with his daring acrobatics and exploits at more than 800 Jazz games. He has been selected as NBA Mascot of the Year in 2006 and 2008, and was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame on August 15, 2006.
Bear is especially recognized for being active in community service, having received the NBA Mascot Leadership Award in 2012 and 2013, as well as conducting his own “Bear Hugs for Kids” program, which takes 500 underprivileged youth on a shopping spree during the holidays. He frequently appears in schools, hospitals, and community centers in service of organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, D.A.R.E, Toys for Tots, Race for the Cure, Utah Food Bank, and the Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition.
This is the third time that Bear has been honored by the state of Utah, having been granted a “Jazz Bear Day” in honor of his 10th birthday on June 9, 2004, and again on August 15, 2006, to commemorate his induction into the Mascot Hall of Fame.