The Washington Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears has gone viral again, as they do every year. If you see the Bears trending on any social media platform, there’s a decent chance it’s because they just hosted their annual Teddy Bear Toss at their home arena, the Giant Center up in Pennsylvania.
It happened again on Sunday, as thousands upon thousands of stuffed ursine creatures rained down upon the ice as Hershey’s game vs. the visiting Bridgeport Islanders was coming to a close. Though Hershey didn’t score in the contest, fans were still given the opportunity to hurl their own bears onto the ice in the game's final seconds.
Hershey’s annual teddy bear toss is for a good cause. Per the team, “teddy bears and stuffed animals are collected and donated to more than 35 local organizations, including Dauphin County Children and Youth, Cocoa Packs, Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg, Palmyra Lions Club, and Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area.”
Last season, the teddy bear toss saw 52,341 stuffed bears flung upon the ice and since the tradition’s inception in 2001, over 322,000 bears have been thrown and donated. When all said and done Sunday, though, the new total eclipsed that of last year, as fans threw over 67,000 bears from the stands. The team posted the accomplishment on Twitter shortly after the game went final: