DECEMBER 23, 2015

AZ Troopers sponsors annual Christmas Patrol Bear Program

For the 22nd year, AZ Troopers (Arizona State Troopers Association) is sponsoring the annual Christmas Patrol Bear Program. State Troopers and professional staff from the Arizona Department of Public Safety will be visiting children in hospitals throughout the state in an effort to spread some Christmas cheer.

Retired DPS Lieutenant Bernie Gazdzik started the program in 1993 at University Medical Center in Tucson. Since then, the program has spread to various hospitals and care centers throughout the state.

“This program allows our troopers and staff to spend a little time with kids that have to spend time away from home during Christmas time,” states Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, president of AZ Troopers.

“We provide the kids with a stuffed animal as well as spend time letting them all know that we will always be there to protect them and their families.”

The following locations and dates have been confirmed so far:
The Ryan House, 110 W. Merrell Street, Phoenix, December 18 at 11:00 a.m.
UMOM Family Shelter, 3333 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, December 21 at 9:00 a.m.
Tucson Medical Center, 5301 E. Grant Rd., Tucson, December 21 at 10:00 a.m.
Banner University Medical Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, December 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Little Colorado Medical Center, 1501 N. Williamson Ave., Winslow, December 22 (time TBD)
Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center, 2200 E. Show Low Lake Rd., Show Low, December 23 (time TBD)
Phoenix Children’s Hospital, 1919 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, December 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Further visits will be taking place in Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Benson, Wilcox and Safford.

For more information, contact AZ Troopers President Jimmy Chavez at 928-210-1700 or or Christmas Patrol Bear Program coordinator Vian Gorgis at 623-208-0202 or