Many hockey fans are sad because the Grand Rapids Griffins season is put on hold due to the pandemic, however, there's a way fans can still interact with the team safely with their yearly holiday tradition, Teddy Bear Toss.
The Griffins are carrying on the tradition of the Teddy Bear Toss, happening yearly since 2000 at home games during the holiday season. Over the past 20 years, fans have donated more than 60,000 bears.
Due to the pandemic, donations will have to be given in a different way. On December 15 from 5-7 p.m., vehicles will pull into a drive-thru area near the entrance to the West Rink of Griff’s IceHouse Belknap. Donors can toss stuffed animals from their vehicles, pop their trunks to allow Griffins staff to remove their canned food donations, and drop change and cash donations into red kettles held by Griffins forward Dominik Shine, head coach Ben Simon, and assistant coach Matt Macdonald.
Following COVID-19 safety protocols, all fans must remain in their vehicle and wear a mask if interacting with anyone within six feet.
J&H Family Stores will also be accepting teddy bear/stuffed animal donations at their locations on December 14 and 15 for those who can’t make it to Griff’s IceHouse.
Teddy Bear Toss is one of the ways The Griffins engage the community and fans while continuing to support three great charities and the people they serve: the Billy Bear Hug Foundation, Feeding America West Michigan, and The Salvation Army.
Fans can also make online donations to any of the three charities.
Complete details and donation links can be found at griffinshockey.com.