Panthers collecting teddy bears for families in need
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's and women's ice hockey programs are teaming up with the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD), Biederman's Deli and the Marketing Association of Plymouth State (MAPS) to host the third annual Teddy Bear Toss games this week.
"We're excited to host our Teddy Bear Toss for the third season," said men's head coach Craig Russell. "Partnering with the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth has been an extremely rewarding experience. Not only do we get to help children with some gifts during the holiday season, but we're able to connect with so many families who are going through an extremely difficult time. To be able to see them smile and know what they're going through really puts things in perspective for us and gives us an amazing feeling of fulfillment."
The men's team hosts Framingham State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game on Thursday (Nov. 29) with puck-drop at 6:00 p.m.
Women's coach Mykul Haun echoed the sentiment. "We especially look forward to our Teddy Bear Toss event. It gives us a chance to give back to an amazing organization [CHaD] as we are able to provide a quality teddy bear to a child going through a very difficult time in their young lives. It really puts things into perspective with our team. I know our players thrive on giving back to the community and especially the children that need it the most."
The women's team welcomes Salem State for a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contest on Saturday (Dec. 1) at 2:00 p.m.
Last winter the teams combined to collect nearly 800 bears, but the goal this year is to eclipse the 1,000 bear mark.
Donation boxes have been set up at local businesses where fans can drop new teddy bears for use during the event. Locations include True Colors Print & Design, the Plymouth branch of Northeast Credit Union and Ashland Lumber, a division of Belletetes, Inc. All collected bears will be distributed to fans for use during the games, though fans are also invited to bring bears to the game. All bears must be new, as used teddy bears cannot be taken at the cancer center.
Fans will throw the bears onto the ice following the first PSU goal in each game. In the event Plymouth State doesn't score, the bears will be thrown on the ice at the end of the game.
Biederman's Deli will issue coupons to fans during the both games. The certificate entitles the holder to get a second full-sized sandwich at 50% off with the purchase of another full-sized sandwich, valid from Dec. 3 to Dec. 14.
Members of the Plymouth State nursing program and multiple CHaD families will serve as special guests at each game. Additionally, Statement, a print shop on campus run by MAPS, will be printing custom shirts designed by Brittany Bouchard, a Plymouth State student and member of MAPS.
Sponsors of the event include the PSU's Professional Sales Leadership program (a gold-level sponsor), Ashland Lumber, Biederman's Deli, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Santucci Construction, Inc., Jen Santucci (PSU '18), MAPS and Greg Dumont.
"We are so lucky to be able to help in such a difficult time and we hope we can increase the amount of bears thrown so we can bring that many more smiles to these wonderful families," added Russell.
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