Fur will fly when teddy bears hit the ice Friday.
The third annual Teddy Bear Toss, sponsored by the Baldwinsville Boys Ice Hockey Booster Club, will be held Jan. 22 at the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena when the B'ville Bees play the Cicero-North Syracuse Northstars. Game time is 7 p.m.
Fans are asked to bring new, unused teddy bears or other stuffed animals to the hockey game, and to register the bears before the game. Between the first and second periods, everyone will toss the bears onto the ice. Whoever tosses their teddy bear closest to the center of the ice wins $25 and a B'ville hockey T-shirt. The teddy bears will be collected and donated to PEACE Inc. and the Vera House.
Baldwinsville is the only local high school to have a teddy bear toss. Head Coach Mark Lloyd suggested the idea two years ago as a way for the team to give back to the community that has shown the team so much support for so many years.
"It's important to teach the kids the value of giving back. It's not always about them; it's about helping others, too,'' said Lloyd.
Ann Schneid, Treasurer of the Booster Club, and mother of two players, agrees.
"I believe that the Teddy Bear Toss is a means for our players to work as a team in a different capacity. Typically the team works together to bring success on the ice to the team, which ultimately benefits each player. With this event, they work as a team and their efforts benefit others," Schneid said. "As a Booster Club, we want to support our players financially while at the same time have them realize their sense of responsibility to others and to their community."
Hockey players support the event by putting up signs, setting up a table at school to promote the event, registering the bears and delivering them. Over the last two years, the Baldwinsville hockey team has collected more than 200 stuffed animals for local hospitals.