Minor League Hockey Team's Annual 'Teddy Bear Toss' Is An Amazing Spectacle For A Great Cause
The Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League may not be known to casual sports fans, but since 1995, the team has made a name for itself with an altruistic event that makes highlight reels every year. Lifting the tactic from the Kamloops Blazers, who started the Teddy Bear Toss in 1993, the Hitmen have turned their annual take into nothing short of a spectacular tradition.
The premise is simple: Fans in attendance show up to the designated game with stuffed animals in hand and lob them onto the ice following the first goal of the night. Play stops as the animals continue to fly. The stuffed animals are then collected by arena workers and distributed to local agencies that gift them to children and families in need.
The 2017 affair saw a staggering 24,605 plush animals collected, interrupting the game for more than 30 minutes as the ice was cleared of the donations. According to the team’s event page, their participation has provided 323,343 gifts since the toss’s 1995 premiere.
While the notion is enough to endear the practice to the most patient sports fans, the sight of seeing these furry items fly is a sight to behold regardless of intent.
Much as the Hitmen took a cue from the Blazers in implementing the charitable phenomenon, other minor and college hockey teams have now co-opted the practice for the benefit of needy families in their communities.
According to Deadspin, other teams newer to the Teddy Bear Toss are quickly gaining ground.
The AHL’s Bears of Hershey, Pennsylvania, netted 25,017 animals during their event.
Given the philanthropic nature of the Teddy Bear Toss, there appears to be no pride of ownership here. It’s fun for fans, which helps attendance, and provides a great service for local children and families.
The more the merrier.
Share image via WHL Hitmen/YouTube.
Serena Williams just exposed one of the most sexist double standards in all of sports. The closer you look the more unbelievable it becomes.
Serena Williams responds to backlash about her catsuit by competing in a tutu “The policing of women’s bodies must end.”
Week One Of The NFL Preseason Brings Player Protests And Outrage From The President Two players from the Miami Dolphins kneeled during the national anthem
Team Fox Athletes Race Toward A Cure For Parkinson’s Disease “If I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Hope Solo Believes The High Cost Of Youth Soccer Is Hurting The State Of The Game Club soccer can cost families $17,000 a year, according to a recent report.
Surfer, New Mom, And Philanthropist Alana Blanchard Wants To Help Young Female Surfers Realize Their Dreams The cost for young surfers to compete can be daunting without major sponsors and brands to help with travel and contest fees, so she created the Alana Blanchard Foundation.
‘Workers Cup’ Film Highlights The Complicated Preparations For The 2022 World Cup In Qatar, workers balance their love of soccer with the burden of treacherous work conditions.
Becky Hammon Becomes The First Female Assistant Head Coach In All 4 Major U.S. Sports She may have a head coaching gig in her sights as well.