Burke’s Tour and the Million Dollar Bear Campaign
Thanks to two of Burke P. Derr’s best friends, he had a teddy bear, Burke P. Bear, named after him in 1997 by the Boyds Collection of Gettysburg. The original prototype was delivered to him in the hospital about five days before he died, and his proud smile was beyond words.
Within a few months, Boyds retailers in 35 states began sending PACFI at least $1 for every Burke P. Bear they sold as part of the Million Dollar Bear campaign to increase awareness and raise funds to fight CF. In early 1998, the teddy bear began Burke’s Tour of the United States and world countries.
In June, 1999, the PA legislature passed a House Resolution giving Burke P. Bear the title of “The Pennsylvania Ambassador for Love, Peace, Having Fun, and Curing Cystic Fibrosis.” The ‘Traveling Teddy’ was hosted in Texas where he was dubbed the “Ambassador of Love” by a Lubbock, TX, journalist. A British publication published an article of his travels calling him the “Globe-Trotting Ambassador of Love.”
Bob Derr, Burke’s Dad, published “Burke’s Tour” in 2007 to tell the story of his son and his namesake bear, and all proceeds from book sales go to PACFI.
From 1998 through 2019, Burke P. Bear has toured every state in the United States and 36 countries. PACFI fundraisers and donations from his tour plus sales of Burke P. Bear have helped PACFI raise over $700,000 for CF research.
Hosting Burke P. Bear is fun and easy!
Hosting Burke P. Bear involves contacting PACFI to say "Hey, I'd like to host Burke for a few days!"
All we ask is that you take a few photos of Burke at area landmarks and send him home when his visit is complete.
Previous hosts took Burke to schools, hospitals, Boyds retailers, sporting events - whatever the host wants to do is fine with us.
Usually there's no time limit for a visit - some hosts keep Burke for a few days and some for a few weeks.
We always encourage the option of contacting the host's local newspaper(s) because it increases an awareness of cystic fibrosis and Burke's mission to help delete the disease.
World Countries That Burke Has Visited
Burke P. Bear has had the opportunity to visit various world countries, including Thailand, Australia, Nepal,
Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Dubai, Russia, Greece, United Kingdom, Georgia, India, Hungary, Austria, Germany,
Czech Republic, Canada, Italy, Israel, Brazil, Serbia, South Africa, Greenland, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Dominican Republic, and Montenegro.
"Burke's Tour" Book
Burke's Tour is also the title of a book published in December of 2006 and was written by Bob Derr.
The book tells an inspirational story of Burke's life and how people, businesses, and organizations are working together to complement Burke's legacy of love. We have done several "book and bear" signings at Boyds retailers and bookstores in central Pennsylvania. The book is available through Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon.com, or it can be ordered through your local book store.
Signed copies are available via our online shop or by sending a check for $15 (covers book, tax, mailer, and postage) to Bob Derr, 410 Ninth Street, Selinsgrove, PA 17870. All proceeds from book sales will go to CF research projects.