Teddy Bear Toss season is upon us! Clubs from the high school level all the way up to the AHL are in full-force donation mode for the holiday season. The tradition has become increasingly prevalent in the hockey world each year, bringing communities together and most importantly providing gifts to those who are less fortunate.
The Hershey Bears, are undoubtedly king when it comes to the Teddy Bear Toss. On December 1st the Bears broke the all-time record for stuffed animals collected at a Teddy Bear Toss with 45,650 animals. This number shattered their previous record of 34,798 stuffed animals set in 2018. A full 40 minute hiatus was needed in the game to clear the ice for play to resume. All animals collected in Hershey will be split up and donated to 40 different Pennsylvania charities.
With Hershey dominating the Teddy Bear toss collection total, recognition should also be given to the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL. Kamloops was home to the first ever Teddy Bear Toss in December of 1993 when over 2,300 stuffed animals were collected for local charities. The organization expected and hoped for around 300 stuffed animals to be collected and donated. They were pleasantly surprised with the outcome and the tradition that spread through the hockey world.
Hit a hockey game, throw things onto the ice, and donate to charity all at the same time? What could be better? It also gives teams an excuse to rock some awesome specialty uniforms.