GENEVA – The Chicago Steel Hockey Team will host a Teddy Bear Toss for charity at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Fox Valley Ice Arena,1996 S. Kirk Road, Geneva, presented by Geneva Family Dental, officials announced in a press release.
The Chicago Steel will play against Sioux City Musketeers that night.
Fans are encouraged to throw new, unwrapped stuffed animals on the ice as soon as the Steel score their first goal of the game. The toys will be donated to Marklund, a local nonprofit that serves people with profound developmental disabilities and special healthcare needs.
“One of the things that fans love most about minor league sports is how interactive the entertainment is,” Chicago Steel President Dan Lehv stated in the release. “Outside of a hat trick or perhaps an octopus in Detroit, most teams frown upon fans throwing items onto the ice during the game. On this night, we encourage it.”
The Teddy Bear Toss has been a popular event in junior hockey and the minor league circuit over the past couple decades, and continues to grow as more casual fans are introduced to this unique hockey tradition.
The Steel have held a Teddy Bear Toss in every season since the team moved to the Fox Valley Ice Arena prior to the start of the 2015 season. Fans have donated over 1,000 stuffed animals to charity in the three previous events, the release stated.
After the first home team goal is scored and the toys are thrown onto the ice, players often dive into the piles of stuffed animals and then help to gather the donations.
Earlier this season, the Hershey Bears – an American Hockey League affiliate of the Washington Capitals – set a Teddy Bear Toss record with 34,798 bears thrown onto the ice during their Dec. 1 home game.