HERSHEY, Pa. - The fur was flying Sunday evening in Pennsylvania.
The Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League set a world record in Sunday’s annual Teddy Bear Toss, as fans threw 34,798 teddy bears and stuffed animals onto the ice, PennLive reported, citing the team’s news release.
Riley Barber’s power-play goal in the first period against the Binghamton Devils tied the game and prompted a hailstorm-like reaction as fans hurled the stuffed animals onto the ice. A count by the team showed the Bears had topped their own franchise mark of 25,017 set last year and broke the world record of 28,815 set in 2015 by the Calgary Hitmen, ESPN reported.
The teddy tossing promotion kicks in when the home team scores its first goal of the game. The toys are then collected and donated to more than 30 local organizations, the team said, including schools, food banks, churches, the Milton Hershey School, Children’s Miracle Network, and the American Cancer Society, PennLive reported.
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CommunityAid, which sponsored the promotion, pledged a 50-cent donation up to $15,000 if a new world record was set, NHL.com reported. In addition, a Bears club seat holder pledged $1 per stuffed animal collected to the Sweigart Family Foundation, the team said on its website.
Bears players jumped into the mounds of teddy bears and posed for photographs, ESPN reported. Because there were so many stuffed animals on the ice, the game’s first intermission was moved up with players taking their break with 11:45 left in the first period as the ice was cleared of the toys.
The Bears won the game, 6-3.
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