Hershey Bears Host Drive-Thru Teddy Bear Toss
The line around the GIANT Center parking lot was as far as the eye could see for nearly four hours at the Hershey Bears GIANT Drive-Thru Teddy Bear Toss on Sat., Jan. 23. The best fans in the American Hockey League were invited to donate new or gently used stuffed animals to this annual tradition which looked a little different this year due to the pandemic. In addition to collecting plush for eight local charities, the team partnered with The Giant Company to collect non-perishable food items. In an overwhelming show of support for the community, event participants donated a total of 31,381 stuffed animals, plus a truckload of food that was taken to the Central PA Food Bank! In addition, The Sweigart Family Foundation donated $31,381 - a dollar for every stuffed animal tossed - to Children's Miracle Network Hershey!
Some event participants came as far as three hours away to give back to people in need throughout the region. The enthusiasm from our Bears fans and community members was contagious and exceeded the team's expectations. We cannot thank everyone enough for the generosity exhibited and for making this event such an overwhelming success.
All of the donated plus items were distributed to eight local organizations including Palmyra Lions Club, Dauphin County Children & Youth, Cocoa Packs, and Autism Society of Greater Harrisburg Area. The Teddy Bear Toss event is part of the team's ongoing Hershey Bears Cares initiative showcasing the philanthropic activities and volunteer efforts of our players and staff members throughout the community. For more than 83 years, the Hershey Bears have been active in the community and value giving back to Hershey and surrounding areas.
In 2019, Bears fans set a world record by throwing 45,650 plush items onto the ice after the team scored its first goal of the game. That record earned global attention and surpassed the previous season's record of 34,798 bears collected. This year’s count of 31,381 is the third-highest total in team history. The Hershey Bears kick off the season on Fri., Feb. 5 in New Jersey and return to home ice on Sat., Feb. 6. Go Bears!
The Hershey Bears have been proud members of the American Hockey League since the 1938-39 season, making them the longest continuously operating member club of the league still playing in its original city. The Bears have won the Calder Cup 11 times, the most of an AHL franchise. The Bears are the AHL affiliate of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, and are affiliated with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. Visit www.HersheyBears.com and follow Hershey Bears on our social media channels for ongoing team and schedule updates.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company is a world-class entertainment and hospitality company dedicated to preserving the legacy of Milton S. Hershey. Founded in 1927 by Milton S. Hershey, HE&R and its subsidiaries own and/or operate the Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, Hersheypark Arena & Stadium, ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park, Hershey Bears AHL Hockey Club, Giant Center arena, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hersheypark Camping Resort, The Spa At The Hotel Hershey, MeltSpa by Hershey, Hershey Country Club and Hershey Golf Collection, Hershey Nursery, and Hershey Laundry & Dry Cleaning. For additional information about HE&R, visit www.HersheyPA.com.
Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company is proud to help fulfill the dream of our founder, Milton S. Hershey, by providing value to Milton Hershey School® in its mission of helping students lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives - just as Mr. Hershey intended. Learn more at mhskids.org.