by Cheshire Kitten on 18 December 2010
in the Features section of The Anipal Times
Teddy bears took over a recent hockey game in Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada. No one was surprised to see plushies at the game because the Calgary hockey team invites bears who want to help kids at Christmas to gather on the rink after the first goal of the game. However, the turn-out of almost 24,000 teddies astonished the humans.
The humans call this gathering the Petro Canada Teddy Bear Toss. This year, the Examiner reported, the bears bore down on the ice when Cody Sylvester, of the Hitmen hockey team, scored a goal about four minutes into the game. Forty minutes later, bears were still hitting the ice. The players had to wait until the rain of bears ended before picking up the game.
“It’s unbelievable,” Sylvester told the Examiner. “Scoring in front of all those fans and all those teddy bears coming down on you – it’s a pretty special moment.”
The Calgary Hitmen hockey team has sponsored this charitable event for 16 years now. This year’s collection of bears tops last year’s by about 7,000 plushies according to Examiner reports that put the 2010 count at 23,096 and 2009’s at 16,755.
During the delay in the game while all the teddy bears were rounded up off the ice, a representative of Suncor Energy, the sponsor of the event, told the fans in Scotiabank Saddledome how the children of Alberta benefit from the event.
“Over 50 charities including Salvation Army, Calgary Womens Emergency Shelter, Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie and the Alberta Children’s Hospital are going to be benefiting today from the Teddy Bear Toss,” she said, according to Digital Journal.
Digital Journal also reported that the hockey players help to distribute the plushies to the children.
Calgary was the first city to call teddy bears together at a hockey game during December. The event has been so successful there that other hockey loving cities in Western Canada and the U.S. Northwest now celebrate the Teddy Bear Toss as well.
Our plush pals don’t make headlines often; but when they do, it’s always for a good cause.
Photo originally published at http://www.flickr.com/photos/61407047@N00/3151511248/ by Cuppojoe. Used by Creative Commons license.