There is already quite a big number of stuffed animals that has been gathered by hockey teams. The toys will be donated to local charities and distributed to children in need for the upcoming holidays.
Most teams put quite a lot of pride and effort in their Teddy Bear Toss events. They take the time to inform the fans well ahead to bring new and packaged stuffed animals to the selected game when the toss will happen. After the first goal for the home team, fans start to throw the stuffies they have brought to the ice where they are taken by the staff.
While the Teddy Bear Toss tradition started in college teams, it has now spread to pretty much all hockey divisions, including the big one. Some teams even race for records and aim to gather tens of thousands of stuffies at a single game. During this time of the year you can see fans going to several different games and donating. From smaller venues to the big ones.
For some teams the Teddy Bear Toss is a big tradition. The Bakersfield Condors for example have been holding the event for 17 years! This past Saturday night they reached their 100,000th donated stuffed animals!
The CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins hosted the Melville Millionaires and also gathered hundreds of new stuffies for the local charity – the Salvation Army. “We use the teddy bears for any kids who are looking for bears. We also take the teddy bears to seniors. We go out to the nursing homes in December, and we take calendars and reading materials and teddy bears”, says Ronza Raynard, coordinator of Family Services with the Salvation Army to the Estevan Lifestyles.
Last year alone they have distributed over 400 stuffed animals to the nursing homes. For this year the Estevan Mercury are hoping to gather at least 1000 stuffed animals on the ice.