'Air The Bear' Number Seven!!!
IT'S THE SEVENTH annual Christmas Teddy Toss for the Ultimate Windows sponsored Billingham Stars and Supporters Club at this Sunday’s North Cup game against Sheffield Steeldogs, the aim to collect toys, gifts and games for sick children across the region once again.
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 25,000 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 six years the Stars and their visiting teams’ fans have collected well over a thousand 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 other selected children's charities in the run-up to Christmas and given to kids 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, including previous Sheffield visitors the Spartans who took part in our very first 'air the bear' game in 2012. 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.