Fans toss Teddy bears after Wisconsin’s first goal
An unusual incident happened during the Saturday of the Spokane Chiefs’ annual Teddy Bea Toss. Fans had jumped and started tossing the stuffed animals before the Chiefs scored. As per tradition, the bears are thrown into the ice after the Chiefs score their first goal, but the confusion of an attempted purpose led to players sliding on the ice and the net tossed aside.
It appeared to some fans that the plan had been scored. And once the tossing has started, it could not be stopped. Students from the Freeman, East Valley, and Mt. Spokane high schools quickly scooped up the treasure trove of stuffed animals and put them in the pickup truck to be counted, bagged, and delivered to the Christmas Bureau.
Thousands of stuffed animals go home to the children who receive toys and books from the Christmas Bureau every year. It is a joint effort with the Spokesman-Review, Volunteers of America, and Catholic Charities. The record set in 2019 was 8604. Officials had counted 6825 stuffed animals on Saturday. The toss was highly anticipated. Even before the beginning of the game, the cameras started panning around the crowd.
They showed people, many children, proudly holding up their stuffed creations ranging from bears to moose to a giant stuffed hamburger. Justin Krautkraemer has been regularly going to the Chief’s Teddy Bear Toss night for decades but has never been able to throw the bear on the ice. He said he was a Boomer for 22 years, referring to the hockey team’s mascot. But this has never dampened his enthusiasm for the Teddy Bear Toss.
Every year, he would be spending all year collecting bears and other stuffed animals for the toss. He would then have the friends or other family members toss them into the ice while they wore the Boomer uniform. He would often be on the ice as the bears would fall and says it is an incredible sight to see. It would indeed be great.
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