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Gens hosting drive-thru teddy bear toss

teddy bear toss

Oshawa forward Ty Tullio (right) and defenceman Mitchell Brewer celebrated after the former scored his first goal of the game, causing a flurry of teddy bears to hit the ice for the annual Teddy Bear Toss during a 5-4 shootout loss to the Kingston Frontenacs in 2019. (Photo by Ian Goodall)

Even though there’s currently no hockey due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oshawa Generals are still hosting their annual Teddy Bear Toss, drive-thru style.

In the past, fans would throw stuffed animals onto the ice after the first goal of the game. However, this year, the team will be doing a drive-thru event at the Tribute Communities Centre on Saturday, Dec. 12 between 1 and 4 p.m.

The Teddy Bear Toss gives children in need across Durham Region an opportunity to open a gift on Christmas morning. This year, the bears collected will be donated to the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation’s Holiday of Hope program. In addition to the Teddy Bear Toss, fans are asked to bring non-perishable food items for Feed the Need in Durham.

Motorists can enter the drive-thru line via Bruce Street, east of the Tribute Communities Centre and continue until the bus cut-out just outside of Rink 2.

Here, fans will be required to wear their masks and wait for staff on location to give the go-ahead to leave the vehicle to drop off the bear and/or food donations. Following the drop off, quickly return to the vehicle and continue west on Bruce Street to leave the drive-thru.

The first year the Generals took part in this event was in the 1998-1999 season. The first-ever toss happened when former Gens defenceman Jim Baxter netted a first period goal, which sent 1,352 stuffed bears onto the ice.

Last year, in its 22nd year during a game against Kingston, the teddy-raining goal was scored in the first period by Ty Tullio, sending 4.003 bears onto the ice.

In total, 80,623 have been collected through the years.