Yes, surprisingly enough, it’s been a while since the Hitmen aren’t the holders of the biggest Teddy Bear Toss of the year. This time that crown goes to the Hershey Bears. Their fans donated more than 25 000 stuffies through the teddy bear toss.
Still, 24 605 stuffed animals, which the Calgary Hitmen fans donated, is quite a lot. That was more than enough for the team players to have huge piles of plushies to swim into. And more importantly, that’s a lot of stuffed animals that can and will bring a smile to kids in need.
According to the official site of the Western Hockey League, the demand was for more than 23 000 stuffed animals by over 60 local agencies. So, the fans giving over 24 000 plushies, fulfils that goal well and that’s the most important part of the event. Since the inaugural 1995 toss, the Hitmen, with generous support from their partners and fans, have provided the community with 323,343 teddy bears. You can add 24 605 more to that.
“We had 18,000 fans here today that watched junior hockey and a pretty good hockey game against a very good hockey team and saw a community event that’s world class, world famous and gives back to over 60 agencies in our community. We can’t thank the fans enough. We can’t thank The Brick enough for their sponsorship and all the people that contributed to today. It’s been a lot of years we’ve been doing this, but we never take it for granted. We know it’s about giving back and it’s that time of year. It’s a special event and we’re proud to host it and proud to be part of it”, says Mike Moore the Hitmen vice-president to the Calgary Sun.
Furthermore, fans bought before the game 1000 Brickley Bears at $20. They then threw the plushies onto the ice and the money from them will go to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
And there were other Teddy Bear Toss events over the weekend, too. Also among them were the Saskatoon Blades. Their fans donated a few thousand more stuffed animals during the game against the Raiders. 4023 fans gave thousands of stuffies after the first goal of the Blades.
With this, the teddy bear toss season of 2017 will now slowly start to wind down. The thousands of donates plushies will begin making their way towards the charity organizations and the kids. Most of the toys will find their new owners for the holidays. Others will continue to be in hospitals and other organizations throughout the year.