January 2, 2013 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Calgary, AB -- The Western Hockey League is proud to announce that WHL Member Clubs have collected over 94,000 teddy bears and winter wear items leading up to the WHL's Christmas break this year.
Each season WHL Clubs host Teddy Bear or Toque and Mitten Toss Nights where fans are encouraged to bring a new plush toy or winter wear to toss on the ice when the home team scores their first goal of the game. WHL Players, Club staff and countless volunteers then collect all the teddy bears and winter wear from the ice surface during this League-wide promotion.
The plush toys and winter wear are then donated by the WHL Club to several charitable organizations that reach out to thousands of families and children in need, not just in WHL markets, but to other communities well beyond.
"It is amazing how WHL fans across the League have embraced the Teddy Bear as well as the Toque and Mitten Toss Night promotions," commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. "It is a tribute not only to our fans, but as well to our WHL Clubs' staff, volunteers and corporate partners who each year make it possible for the WHL to support local charities and thousands of children and families at a special time of year."
Teddy Bear Toss events have been conducted in the Western Hockey League for nearly two decades now. They have become one of the League's Member Clubs' biggest attendance draws and is now a holiday tradition in almost every WHL market across the League.
The Calgary Hitmen saw 21,453 stuffed toys hit the ice at their Teddy Bear Toss event on December 2nd. The Hitmen hold the WHL and CHL record for the event, collecting a whopping 26,919 bears in 2007. The Portland Winterhawks collected 12,814 items at their event on December 15th while the Edmonton Oil Kings collected 10,835 items on December 7th.