The Kitchener Rangers 26th Annual Teddy Bear Toss game will take place on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. when they take on the London Knights at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. All the bears thrown on the ice will be donated to charitable organizations around Waterloo Region.
The rules of throwing the teddy bears onto the ice are simple. You throw them on the ice after Kitchener scores their first goal of the game. But regulations on the bears have changed because of the pandemic.
“We’re asking for new bears only. In the past, we’ve done gently used bears but this year it’s pretty strict with new bears only,” said Alex Witherspoon, Digital Marketing Manager for the Kitchener Rangers.
The bears must also be placed in plastic bags, which are being offered for free at the auditorium upon arrival.
Multiple charities will fill out a sign-up sheet before the game, which can be found on their website. Pickup for the bears will take place immediately after the game.
“There’s some hospitals that use them for their patients, some schools that use the bears as a reading buddy,” said Witherspoon. “Then sometimes it’s smaller organizations who are in need.”
This themed game is one of the most popular games for fans.
“It’s a fun thing for adults and kids alike to throw something onto the ice,” said Witherspoon.
The players enjoy this game just as much as the fans do.
“It’s a really cool moment. Everyone I know wants to score the teddy bear goal, especially the older guys because they have one last chance at it,” said Jesse Fishman, second-year forward for the Kitchener Rangers.
Fishman was lucky enough to score the teddy bear goal in his rookie season.
“When I scored I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Fishman. “I think what I said in my interview that day was pretty funny, it was like cloudy with a chance of teddy bears.”
This goal is seen as one of Fishman’s early career highlights and will always be special to him.
“I was really close to my grandpa, I didn’t know whether I was going to play that whole week as he was in his last days battling mesothelioma,” said Fishman. “I knew that he would want me to play, so I played that night and was lucky enough to score the teddy bear goal.”
Fishman is currently rehabbing a knee injury that occurred in training camp, meaning he is unable to play in this year’s teddy bear game.
“Obviously I would love to hold my treasure there this year but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen, so I’ll have to wait for next year,” said Fishman.
As the fans look forward to the game, the organization enjoys hosting the game as well.
“It’s always fun to see the fans having fun and doing something interactive,” said Witherspoon.
For more information on the game, please refer to their teddy toss page.