Teddy Bear Toss To Benefit Needy Children
On a chilly, windy day, hundreds of people lined up in their cars to donate thousands of stuffed animals to the annual Hershey Bears Teddy Bear Toss outside the Giant Center in Hershey, PA.
In a normal year, the event takes place inside the Giant Center Ice Hockey Arena during a Hershey Bears’ American Hockey League ice hockey game.
On a pre-designated day, usually in December, fans bring all sizes of teddy bears and stuffed animals and toss them on the ice after the Bears’ first goal of the game.
In 2019 fans threw over 45,000 bears onto the ice setting a world record.
This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic the event was moved outside to a drive-thru format.
The donated bears go to dozens of Central Pennsylvania organizations like the Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area and donated food goes to local food banks.
The teddy bear toss is a popular Christmas season promotion most common at junior ice hockey and minor league hockey games. Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears or other stuffed toys to the game, and to throw them onto the ice when the home team scores its first goal. The toys are gathered up to be donated as presents to hospitals and charities. In many cases, the players themselves personally donate some of the bears to children at area hospitals. The Hershey Bears claim a world record of 45,650 stuffed toys in a single game.