It’s a 20-year tradition, two decades since the Sarnia Sting hockey club first teamed up with Lambton Ford to bring Christmas joy to children through the Salvation Army.
The event, the Teddy Bear Toss game, involves having fans toss plush toys they purchase specifically for the cause onto the ice after the Sting scores their first goal.
That first game was in 1998 and the tradition has stuck, says Rob Ravensberg, dealer principal at Lambton Ford Lincoln.
It’s also something that is highly anticipated by Sting players.
With the way the Sting are playing this year, that moment could very well come quickly.
Organizers are hoping to set a record with the number of plush toys to be tossed (the standing record being 3,785).
Ravensberg says the dealership has four vehicles already wrapped with a Goldie Locks and the three bears motif.
He has a total of eight vehicles available to collect all the bears.
The tradition started in 1998 when Rob Ravensberg bought into the local Ford dealership and he wanted to give back to the community. He saw that the OHL did Teddy Bear tosses with some of the teams, the first being with the Guelph Storm. He saw that as a perfect way to work with the Sarnia Sting and also the Salvation Army to help give the gift of Christmas to children in need. He also says that they have given Teddy Bears to local fire and rescue departments for their programs where children in distress receive a Teddy to help calm them in emergency situations.
The 20th annual Teddy Bear Toss is set for Sunday afternoon when the Sting face the Oshawa Generals. Game time is 2:05. Ravensberg predicts a good healthy Sarnia win and the event reaching that 4,000 Teddy Bear goal. Through the years Lambton Ford and the Sarnia Sting have collected over 55,000 Teddy Bears and Ravensberg says he sees the tradition continuing on for quite some time.