UTICA — The ninth annual New York Sash Teddy Bear Toss is set to take place on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Utica Memorial Auditorium during the Utica College men’s ice hockey game against Salve Regina.
Everyone who attends the game is encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal to donate. When Utica College scores their first goal, the buzzer will sound and everyone will throw their teddy bears onto the ice. Thousands of bears will cascade onto the rink to be collected. Through their partnership with the First News with Keeler in the Morning WIBX Toy Drive, New York Sash will distribute all donations locally through Operation Sunshine.
Last year the event had sellout crowds and more than 4,500 bears were collected. New York Sash owner Scot Hayes predicts similar success this year with a large amount of tickets already sold. One of the biggest struggles, said Hayes, is making sure everyone who comes to the game brings a donation regardless if they have reserved ticket. Any new, stuffed animal is accepted.
The game will start at 7 p.m., but plan on an early arrival. In 2009, the Teddy Bear Toss occurred 1:28 into the first period and some late fans missed out.
For more information about the Teddy Bear Toss, including pictures and videos from previous years, visit www.newyorkwsash.com/teddybeartoss.