Bears Host Hometown Heroes Night

Posted November 14, 2016

Coming off of back-to-back losses, the Hershey Bears were looking to end the weekend on a high note against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Sunday evening. Unfortunately for the Bears this would not be the case. The Phantoms came into Giant Center to take the win 3-1 over the Bears.

Aside from the loss, the Bears honored Hometown Heroes tonight at Giant Center. Members of the Military, Police, Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services were celebrated this evening as part of the festivities.

Tonight, season ticket holders sponsored Seats for Soldiers Night. STH donated seats to veterans so they could enjoy the game this evening.

The Bears wore special camouflage jerseys, which were auctioned off after the game.

Bears Camouflage Jerseys

Before the opening face-off, fans were treated to a special ceremonial puck drop. Members of the Army were set up in the rafters of Giant Center and repelled down onto the ice.

Not only were these specialty jerseys auctioned off and repellers part of this special night but there was a special guest in the house tonight.

Many people may have seen this video before:

This is Joe Everson. He has only been doing this portrait for a year. A few weeks ago, Joe did his performance in Toledo and it went viral.

Joe Everson

Joe Everson

Joe’s inspiration for this performance painting stems from his cousin Benito Diaz, who served in the Vietnam War and paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Joe commented, “He gave his life so that I can do what I like to do, what I want to do, the rights we have in our country and what it represents in this flag, this symbol that we have, I want to respect it”.

The feed back Joe is getting from veterans and community members has been very positive. “It’s the right thing we wanted to do”.

Joe also loves to do portraits and faces. One of his series was called “Faces in the Past” which centered on those that “made us laugh, or gave us cinematic moments” as a form of remembrance. Joe’s work can be found at There is an entire section dedicated to the Iwo Jima paintings.

Meeting Joe was an amazing experience. His energy and passion for his craft shows in all of his work. Many Bears fans stopped to talk with Joe and pick up prints of his Iwo Jima painting, as well as other prints of work he has done.

I also spoke with Maria Stouffer, Executive Director/Founder of Orders For Love, an organization that works to pair and place shelter dogs with military veterans who are suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and traumatic brain injury. These dogs can either be a companion dog, therapy dog, or enter training to become a service dog.

For more information about this great organization, please visit


Orders for Love

Orders for Love

After the game, the jerseys the players wore during the game were auctioned off. Some highlights of the auction were Zach Sill’s jersey going for $1400, Aaron Ness and Paul Carey, both going for $1300 and the full team signed jersey, which went for $1650.

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Two of Joe Everson’s pieces were auctioned off as well. The Iwo Jima piece that he painted during the National Anthem went for $950 and the team signed Hometown Heroes piece went for $1650.

Proceeds from the auction benefitted the Veteran’s Trust Fund and Wounded Warriors.

Overall, aside from the loss, it was a great night at Giant Center. Below is a picture collage of tonight’s events.

Warm Ups

Hometown Heroes Night Festivities

Jersey Auction