HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — The Hershey Bears Teddy Bear Toss brings joy to so many people, including those giving and receiving. So, organizers figured out a way to keep the tradition going, but with some changes to keep everybody safe.
Saturday’s event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is a drive-thru.
People will pull up to drop off sites in the Giant Center Parking lot and toss stuffed animals out of their car windows.
“Once they toss their bears, we’ll be collecting them,” said Kathleen McGraw, the director of communications and corporate social responsibility at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.
Usually, fans throw stuffed animals from all directions onto the ice after the Bears’ first goal of the game.
Each year, the event collects thousands of bears for charity, and it still plans to on Saturday.
This year, organizers are adding a food drive to benefit the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
If you can, bring non-perishable food items.
“Everybody’s hurting right now, so with all of the food insecurities, we reached out to our partners at Giant and said, ‘will you help us?’ Of course, they said yes.”
Food won’t be thrown like stuffed animals. Staff members with gloves will take donations from vehicles.
Everyone is asked to stay in their cars and wear their masks the entire time.
The drive-through is a new way to continue serving eight local charities.
“We work with a number of organizations in our Hershey Bears Cares Initiative,” said McGraw.
The Bears are the world record holders for the Teddy Bear Toss. The club collected more than 45,000 stuffed animals at its last event.
This year’s toss comes as the American Hockey League releases the Bears’ game dates for the upcoming season.
“We’re just so excited to bring hockey back to Central Pennsylvania and to give back to the community,” said McGraw.
You don’t have to bring a bear to donate; any new or gently used stuffed animal is welcome.