Fans Go Crazy for the Teddy Bear Toss...

Is your property looking to implement a new charitable initiative that is a hit with fans? Is your organization looking for new ways to drive fan excitement around the holidays?

A common theme night across minor league hockey during the holidays is "Teddy Bear Toss Night". For this promotion, fans are encouraged to bring new soft toys to the game and toss them onto the ice after the home team scores its first goal of the game. All of the stuffed toys are then donated to local charities and children in need for Christmas.

There isn't a team out there that executes the Teddy Bear Toss promotion better than the Calgary Hitmen (a franchise that has been running the promotion for 14 years now). Since its inception, the promotion has evolved into one of the team's most popular nights (a season-high 18,105 fans attended the 2008 Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss). In 2008, the team collected 22,272 bears on the ice (the franchise record is 26,919, set in 2007).

The team distributes the stuffed toys to 50 local charities, with the team's players oftentimes delivering the goods individually to young patients. Take a moment to check out the team's Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss in action:

On a side note, the Kitchener Rangers also do a great job executing the Teddy Bear Toss promotion: