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Teddy bears hit the ice in B'ville

Community members are invited to a teddy bear toss.

Join the Baldwinsville Bees Varsity Ice Hockey team as they face off against West Genesee at 6:30 p.m. Thursday Jan. 10 at the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena. Fans are asked to bring a new, unused teddy bear to toss out onto the ice between the first and second period. Players will then collect the bears to donate to children at the Golisano Medical Facility at Upstate University.

"These student-athletes receive a tremendous amount of support from their community," said Head Coach Mark Lloyd, who suggested the teddy bear toss idea. "This is a way in which they can give back to others."

Originating in the minor hockey leagues in Canada, this is the first time the teddy bear toss has been held at a central New York high school. In addition to their goal of collecting more than 100 bears during the toss, the bees also hope to make it an annual event.

Chris Newman, a Baker High School junior and captain of the team, said he hopes the children who receive the teddy bears will become interested in hockey.

"It feels good knowing that by playing hockey and doing something I love to do, that we are giving back to the community who has supported us so much through the years," Newman said.

A record collection of 26,919 bears was achieved during a Calgary Hitmen home game this past December.

Tickets for the game can be purchased that day at the door for $2. For more information, call Mark Miller, president of the Baldwinsville Bees Hockey Booster Club at 720-5637.

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