Kamloops Blazers teddy toss tradition for local fans

By Adam Donnelly
December 5, 2016 - 2:59pm Updated: December 5, 2016 - 5:45pm

KAMLOOPS — It's become a tradition in rinks around the world, and even happens as far away as Australia - the teddy bear toss is a staple for many hockey teams, who enjoy giving back to their community around Christmas, and it originated right here in Kamloops, back in 1993.

The teddy bear toss was the brainchild of the team's, marketing director of the time, Don Larson. He hoped fans would donate a few hundred teddy bears, but after Brad Lukowich scored in the first period, the bears rained down from all corners of the rink. Now in its 24th year, the local teddy bear toss is still going strong, with over 2400 bears hitting the ice this year after Ondrej Vala scored at the midway point of the first period on Saturday night against the Vancouver Giants.

The Bears were picked up Saturday night, and the Blazers Booster Club came in early Sunday morning to sort the mountain of stuffed animals, winter clothes, and other assorted goodies fans donated.

"It looks like an awful lot when we start, but we have wonderful volunteers that come and help," said Top Teddy Bear Sorter with the Blazers Booster Club, Lorna Clarkson.

This year, over 2400 toys were donated. The stuffies will go to a variety of different charitable organisations within the region.

 

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