Teddy Bear Toss Video: Watch Calgary Hitmen Tradition
In what is a popular Christmas promotion at many junior and minor hockey league games, fans are asked to bring teddy bears to the games and are encouraged to throw the bears on the ice after the home team scores their first goal.
All the stuffed animals are then gathered off the ice and donated to different charities as Christmas gifts.
Every year, many of the Canadian minor league teams attempt to break the previous record for teddy bears thrown out.
The Calgary Hitmen are among the teams that have really turned the Bear Toss into an art form.
They own the current World Record for a bear toss after they got fans to throw out 26,919 bears in 2007.
This year the Hitmen were aiming for a little lower bar, they had set a goal of 23,000 bears.
On Dec. 12 the Hitmen collected 23,096 bears from the crowd of 16,844 that the players distributed the next day at local hospitals.
“I think it’s wonderful how many fans brought bears,” director of business operations Mike Moore said. “Now all the charities, agencies and children will get the bears.
“As always, Calgary comes to the fore for the Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss.
“We’re excited that we’ve had another successful day.”
When Trevor Grant's two-year-old son Easton was given a teddy bear, he had trouble fighting back his emotions: "(Easton has) had a rough life so it's really neat to see this happen," said Grant.
Easton's mom, Jalene Grant, said they come to the hospital every week and having the Hitmen hand Easton a teddy bear made their day a little brighter. "It just puts a smile on their face, everything they have to go through. To be able to take five minutes and do that is pretty awesome."
For more of the story of Hitmen players distributing the bears head here.
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