The pandemic may have kept the Kamloops Blazers off the ice until later, but the annual and extremely popular Teddy Bear Toss is moving online.
Each season in December, fans in a sold-out Sandman Centre bring thousands of stuffed animals to the game, all of which are tossed onto the ice after the first Blazers’ goal.
The stuffies are then collected by the Blazers and others, trucked off the ice and, later, given to kids in care at Royal Inland Hospital’s paediatric department.
Although the pandemic means a December in-person Teddy Bear Toss is not possible, the Blazers and the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation have created an online event.
From now until midnight on Dec. 15, cash donations are being accepted online here. The fundraising goal is $5,000 and money collected will be used to purchase much-needed teddy bears and other comfort items. Due to the pandemic and safety measures currently in place, RIH is not able to accept physical donations, such as stuffed animals, from the public.
“We are proud to have an opportunity to continue the tradition of the Teddy Bear Toss that the Kamloops Blazers started and has since been adopted worldwide,” club president and COO Don Moores said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to support the RIH Foundation and ensure that the tradition of the toss continues in a way that is safe for our community.”
The Blazers started the Teddy Bear Toss tradition in the1993-1994 season. Today, all 22 teams in the Western Hockey League, along with minor pro hockey teams, host their own Teddy Bear Toss events.