For almost a year now we have heard about how difficult these unprecedented times have been. Many people have suffered loss in various ways. With the daily news of family, friends, or co-workers effected by the pandemic, watching and reading updates about the coronavirus, and witnessing the civil unrest in this country, 2020 was a very tough year.
Our children were forced to adjust their daily lives with distance learning, while parents tried to juggle work from home or finding care for their children while they went off to work. Holidays and special occasions were altered because we were unable to spend time with our loved ones in-person.
Despite all of this, an abundance of good happened around; people were going above and beyond to support one another. For one Rancho Cucamonga resident, his contributions were by way of spreading cheer in the community.
Captain Abearica is a head banging bear who loves hard rock, cares about our Rancho Cucamonga community and wants to see residents be kind toward one another.
Thrilled by the work of Captain Abearica and the joy he has brought to Rancho Cucamonga, City staff decided to catch up with this entertaining bear and find out more about him.
When asked, where did the name Captain Abearica came from, Captain Abearica said, “I thought it would be fun to give America a mascot. Captain Abearica seemed like the perfect fit.”
When asked how he came up with this idea, he shared “we are going through tough times...started about a year ago with news of COVID entering the U.S. After seeing the dramatic impact COVID was having on the community with the shelter in place order, it was then that the idea and need felt necessary.” Sheltering in place was causing so much stress and negativity.
When the 2020 high school graduates were not able to have prom, graduation, or any other memorable milestones, he believed Captain Abearica would be a fun way to go out and cheer folks up and help lighten the mood. “Captain Abearica is my attempt to put a smile on people’s faces. We are a part of a community and interconnected. We should be kind to one another. We live in a great city.”
The pay it forward campaigns on the Rancho Facebook groups inspired him because “that kindness is needed more in the community.” His intentions with introducing Rancho Cucamonga to Captain Abearica was to inspire “people to think of others and how they can be an instrument of kindness toward someone else.”
The community response to Captain Abearica has been fantastic. Each time he is out dancing and entertaining, he receives a lot of cheering, honking, smiles, and thumbs up from those driving by. It’s “very surreal and people just love it,” he shared.
Captain Abearica does not accept money, but one day someone secretly donated $10 to him by placing it on his speaker while he was dancing. At the end of the day Captain Abearica took that money and kicked in an additional $10 as a donation to the Foothill Family Shelter. The donation was matched and was ultimately $40. The person who initially donated the money had no idea that their $10 would turn into a $40 donation!
Considering our current environment, Captain Abearica chooses to continue spreading cheer. He is “purely highlighting how we live in a beautiful, amazing city,” and wants us all to focus on being unified.
We asked Captain Abearica where people could find him next, and he shared “he is not sure but he will continue to do things to make people happy.” He will show up as much as possible to encourage people to be kind and show appreciation for essential workers. So, if you happen to see him out in your area, share some love in the safest way possible, and hopefully you too will be inspired to find unique ways to spread kindness and cheer in the community.
Follow Captain Abearica on Facebook by clicking here