On Friday, the Abbotsford Heat host their second annual teddy bear toss, which benefits the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau.
The Heat take on the Texas Stars in a Friday-Saturday set (7 p.m. both nights, Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre), and fans are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed toy on Friday to toss onto the ice after the home team’s first goal of the night. The teddy bears will be collected by a Sunrise Toyota pickup and donated to local families in need.
Last year, the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau helped 837 families, including 1,419 children and 65 seniors. Approximately half of the families were sponsored, and the other half came directly to the food bank to collect their Christmas food hampers and gifts.
“The Abbotsford Christmas Bureau is still looking for sponsors,” director Cliff Prang noted. “Sponsorship provides people a tangible connection to the community. The process is also a great team builder, and if you do it as a family, it is a great way to educate your own children about giving.”
Heat president Ryan Walter said the teddy bear toss event is part of making Abbotsford “a better place to live.”
“This spirit of giving is incredibly important during the holiday season,” he said. “We’d love to see all our fans bring a stuffed toy to donate on Friday to support a needy family.”
The Heat’s first teddy bear toss was held on Dec. 18, 2011, and defenceman Jordan Henry’s goal triggered an avalanche of stuffed animals.
This weekend’s games also feature a two-for-one ticket deal. When fans purchase a ticket for Friday’s teddy bear toss game, they also get a ticket to Saturday’s game for free. If fans cannot attend the Dec. 15 game, they can donate their ticket to the United Way and give a Christmas outing to a family in need.
TWO MORE HEAT GAMES ON TV
Sportsnet has added two Heat games to its AHL broadcast schedule.
This Saturday’s home game vs. Texas will be televised on the Sportsnet West and Pacific regional networks, along with Sportsnet One.
The Heat’s Dec. 29 road tilt vs. the Chicago Wolves, the Vancouver Canucks’ affiliate, will be broadcast on Sportsnet One. It airs at 5 p.m. Pacific time.