One of the popular pregame attractions for Seahawks home games is the Beast Bus. It's a staple at Hawk Alley and a fan favorite, but do you know the story behind the Beast?
Owner Ben Seher shares how he came up with the idea, the name and the monster money it raises for charity.
"I never in my wildest dreams would have ever picked what you're looking at today," said Seher.
Parked in the Beast Barn and awaiting Sunday’s game, the Beast is a marvel. Seher's family, season ticket holders since the late 1980s, had a big idea: a big Seahawks bus to raise big money. So Seher got on the phone to London and bought a bus, sight unseen.
"When it came over, it was a disaster," said Seher.
Turning the disaster into a home for the 12th Man took more money than Seher wants to think about.
"All of a sudden we have stages and TVs and goal posts and kegerators - you name it," said Seher.
What's Seher's favorite feature about the Beast?
"I think the Kingdome seats in the back are pretty cool," he said.
When you think "Beast," you think Marshawn Lynch, but the Beast Bus is not actually named after him.
"The name came from the president's limousine actually. It's called the Beast," said Seher.
The Beast Bus has become a Seahawks fortress of sorts. And has lots to lure you in, including plenty of food and drink for a suggested $20 donation.
They rake in thousands each game. That money goes somewhere very specific: to help kids with autism. You see, Seher’s nephew is autistic.
"When we learned when he was younger that he was autistic, we decided as a family what we could do to get back," he said.
His family’s company donates to several charitable organizations, but he wanted to do something on his own, something Hawks related. Enter Seahawks GM John Schneider and wife Traci, whose son, also named Ben, is autistic. The fund in his name helps kids with autism and their families.
"Ben's Fund was perfect. It was the Seahawks, autism, matched as one and it was a big fit for us."
Ben’s Fund provides financial assistance to families to help with therapies, equipment, and specialty items.
"We always hand a check to them at primetime that we do for the season and do a big picture with them, and they're just super people," said Seher.
Seher's family raises $50,000 to $60,000 a year just from tailgates, but Seher is dreaming bigger for the Beast.
So on your next trip to CenturyLink, climb aboard the Beast, knowing your donation is helping another Ben and other kids like him who suffer from autism.
The Beast Bus is auctioned off at several school and charitable organizations for away games. They also make other appearances for charities in the offseason.
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