â€˜Air The Bearâ€™ on Derby Day!
ULTIMATE WINDOWS sponsored Billingham Stars and Supporters Club are holding our fourth annual Teddy Toss this weekend, and we are hoping to beat last yearâ€™s total of 170 bears plus numerous toys and gifts collected for older children.
So what is a Teddy Toss?
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 (click here to see the video of last yearâ€™s toss). 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 we have had to adapt! Our bears are thrown at the end of the first period once the nets have been pulled back, and in the last three years we have collected in excess of 450 soft toys and gifts. These donations are taken by the players to two local hospitals 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. The two hospitals are James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and Darlington Memorial, we have always received a warm welcome at both and they are visits that the players very much look forward to every year.
How can you help?
Previous visiting teams to the Forum on Teddy Toss Night have always supported us in our efforts, and we hope that this yearâ€™s clash with the North East derby will mean a bumper crop of bears! If you can help then there are a few â€˜rulesâ€™ to read before you can â€˜air the bearâ€™â€¦
- Please make sure your teddy/soft toy is NEW. We are taking these toys into hospitals, for hygiene reasons we cannot take pre-owned bears. 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 â€“ we recommend taking them to the Salvation Army in Stockton.
- Please put your bear into a plastic bag â€“ the ice is wet and we donâ€™t want our furry friends getting cold
- Please do NOT throw anything other than teddies and soft toys â€“ we will have a gift table at the top of the stairs where you can donate any other toys, games or gifts for older children.
Thank you all in advance â€“ your generosity every year touches our hearts and brings a smile to children who really need it at this special time.