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Bernie Spreads Love Across the Inland Empire02/18/2013 2:37 PM ET
By Joey Seymour
Bernie, playing the role of cupid on Valentine's Day, assisted in creating a memory for a few lucky 66ers fans, which they will most likely never forget. It was a busy day for the 66ers mascot as he traveled from San Bernardino to Beaumont, San Jacinto, Crestline, Highland, Colton, Norco, Fontana, Redlands, Riverside, and Rancho Cucamonga to deliver a special bouquet of flowers, Angels and 66ers tickets. He logged over 350 miles all for the sake of spreading joy and love.
Originally, Bernie had agreed to do 12 deliveries but when they all sold out within 8 hours, he found a way to include another 11 as making his fans happy is Bernie's top priority. Each recipient was thrilled to open their door and to their surprise, find the big red guy waiting there, arms outstretched, offering a Bernie sized hug and a hearty whoo!
Many tears of happiness were shed when Bernie arrived at the work places of his Valentine's Day package recipients. At the San Bernardino Superintendent's Office, Erin could not believe her eyes when she saw Bernie. All of her co-workers gathered around and took pictures. While in Beaumont, Bernie surprised Colleen at her work, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, with a large smile on her face, she said jokingly that she was "going to kill her husband." Lindsay at Don Jose's Restaurant in Riverside was equally as stunned to see her beloved Bernie show up with a bouquet of flowers for her.
During his visits to a couple of schools, Judson & Brown, Victoria Elementary, Burbank Elementary, San Jacinto Valley Charter Academy, Valley of Enchantment, and Battie Middle School, Bernie was mobbed by hundreds of excited kids. The teacher receiving the 66ers Valentine's Day package and the students alike were shocked and pleased to see Bernie. He took pictures, swung on the swing set, and even made a snow angel on the baseball field at Valley of Enchantment.
Visiting 66ers fans at their homes is always a treat for Bernie. Mary Lou Martin invited Bernie in to show him, her Bernie bobblehead collection and Kerri Bollin's kids could not contain their excitement when he showed up at their doorstep.
The 66ers Valentine's Day package has become so popular, fans have already begun to call and sign up for next year. Here are a few quotes from some of the fans who purchased the 66ers Valentine's Day package for their sweetheart:
Jno Visbal: The delivery went great and my wife really appreciated it. Bernie was right on-time and the flower arrangement was beautiful.
Steve Wade: My wife saw it was Bernie at the door, she said "What are you doing here?" She also said it was one of the highlights of her life.
Carlos Castillo: It went great. I found out about it on Facebook and thought it was really original. I would definitely do it again next year.
Mary Losh: My husband absolutely loved it. He wants me to do it again for him next year. The flowers were beautiful and we look forward to coming to games this season.
Doug Kraus: The delivery went over really well. Bernie had time to pose for pictures with some of the students. It is great for community outreach event. My wife loved the flowers and the tickets.
Steve Caperton: My girlfriend and her students were absolutely thrilled with Bernie coming to the school.
After a long day of surprises, hugs, kisses, and playing with lots of kids, Bernie returned to San Manuel Stadium and had a good, long sleep. He is already looking forward to next Valentine's Day, but right now is focusing on April 4, 2013, the 66ers home opener when he hopes to see all of his fans at the stadium, cheering on the Inland Empire 66ers.