A teddy bear falls to the ice after the first Utica College goal was scored.
TheKDCF.com was at the Utica Memorial Auditorium on Saturday December 11th for the Sixth Annual Teddy Bear Toss during Utica College’s Mens Hockey game. The Utica Pioneers, who are ranked 13th in Division III, beat the Buffalo State Bengals 3-2. The teams played in front of a crowd of 3,839 fans, all clutching stuffed animals waiting for the first goal to be scored by UC.
Teddy Bear Tosses have been popularized in the United States over the past few years as a fun participatory charity. When the home team scores their first goal, fans throw their donations onto the ice to be given to children’s charities. Here in Utica, all attendees of the game who brought in stuffed animals received free admission to The Aud. New York Sash, a local company, has organized this event to benefit local families in need during the holiday season. The Keeler Show was also at the game, offering contests during intermissions with prizes including a free car starter.
Fifteen minutes into the first period, Adam Graff launched the puck into the defending goal, setting off a flurry of stuffed toys. Bears, dogs, elephants, and horses of all sizes were launched from all angles of the arena onto the ice. The largest plush donation, a fish measuring over three feet, was laboriously hurled to the ice by TheKDCF.com member André Short. (VIDEO LINK http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=544985233106 ) After the fans made their donations, players celebrated their goal as they helped organizers of the event clear the ice of the donations. Over 1,200 items were collected, totaling over 8,500 stuffed animals in the past six years.
Scot Hayes, President of New York Sash said: “We want to find as many charities that truly have a need, so we can distribute to them directly.” This support of local organizations by local businesses and residents is exactly what TheKDCF.com likes to see. Great job Central New York!
- André Short, TheKDCF.com Editor in Chief
The Utica College Hockey Team thanks the crowd and begins to collect the stuffed animals.
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