The sports world has always been very closely connected to the fans of the game, and this is especially true during the holiday season. Every team has its own way of giving back to the community, and helping out. As I was scrolling through my social media streams on Tuesday, I came across a truly wonderful tradition out of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of Washington Capitals have an annual “bear toss.” The tradition is that during a home game in December, when the Bears score their first goal everyone in the stadium tosses teddy bears onto the ice. The bears are then collected and donated to all sorts of local organizations from food banks, to local hospitals and schools.
This year’s teddy bear toss was on Monday, in a game against the Binghamton Devils. The goal came with 11:45 left in the first period, and was the signal for the fans to throw their bears onto the ice. A world record 34,798 teddy bears were collected, beating the previous record by almost 10,000, according to ESPN. The game was forced into a delay, as both teams, and ice crew members tried to remove all of the bears from the ice.
This tradition is a great reminder of what sports are capable of. With so many fans supporting their local team, which is helping its community in such a unique way, it created a really special moment.
Picture from Sports Illustrated