The Calgary Hitmen, a major junior hockey team in the Western Hockey League, held their annual Teddy Bear Toss night this weekend, where fans were invited to throw stuffed animals on the ice after the team’s first goal. The purpose of the event is to collect toys to be donated to children’s hospitals and charities during the holiday season.
It’s become one of the more popular hockey promotions, and one that yields some pretty amazing results. Last year, Calgary collected more than 19,000 stuffed animals. This year? They blew that number out of the water.
More than 28,000 stuffed animals came raining down from the stands on Sunday, setting a new record for the most ever received. To put it into perspective, the Hitmen’s arena — the Scotiabank Saddledome — only holds a little more than 19,000 fans, so many fans apparently brought multiple stuffed animals and let ‘er rip as soon as that red light came on.
This has gotta be near the top of the list for best sports promotions. Not only is it for a really great cause, but watching all the animals fly from every part of the arena also creates an absolutely amazing scene to behold. Even the players get involved and have a ton of fun with it.