'Air The Bear' Number 6!!
ULTIMATE WINDOWS sponsored Billingham Stars and Supporters Club are holding their sixth annual Teddy Toss at this Sunday’s National Cup game against Solway Sharks, hoping to collect toys, gifts and games for sick children across the region.
The Christmas Teddy Toss is a tradition in many rinks throughout North America, with supporters of current record holders the Calgary Hitmen regularly throwing over 26,000 teddies onto the ice. Usually the bears are thrown when the home team scores their first goal, however the pad at the Forum is protected by netting at all times so bears are thrown at the end of the first period once the nets have been pulled back. In the last five years the Stars and their visiting teams’ fans have collected approaching 1,000 soft toys and gifts. These donations are taken by the players to two local hospitals (James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and Darlington Memorial), plus Zoe’s Place baby hospice in the run-up to Christmas and given to children who are unable to return home for the holidays to spread a little festive cheer.
Previous visiting teams to the Forum on Teddy Toss Night have always supported the club in its efforts, and Solway have already started the festivities by collecting bears at their home game with Sheffield Steeldogs last weekend to bring with them. If you can help, then there are a few ‘rules’ to read before you can ‘air the bear’…
- Please make sure your teddy/soft toy is NEW. These toys are being taken into hospitals, for hygiene reasons pre-owned bears cannot be taken. If you have teddies and/or toys at home that you think need a new home, there are plenty of charities in the area that will take them for distribution to kids who would really appreciate them – the club recommend taking them to the Salvation Army in Stockton.
- Please put your bear into a plastic bag – the ice is wet!
- Please do NOT throw anything other than teddies and soft toys – there will be a gift table at the top of the stairs where you can donate any other toys, games or gifts for older children.
Everyone at Billingham Ice Hockey Club thanks you all in advance – your generosity every year brings a smile to children who really need it at this special time.