Nearly 150 teddy bears scattered the ice after the first goal was scored during the Dec. 18 Chestermere Lakers U18 -1 hockey game.
This year, the first goal was scored by Luke Notveit in the second period.
“It was a huge success,” said head coach Wayne Copeland. “The game went on to be a 2-2 tie and a very good game of hockey.”
Approximately 300 spectators were in the crowd, and once the goal was scored fans littered the ice with teddy bears.
This year, the Peewee AA Hockey team helped clean up the bears that made it to the ice.
“A huge thank you to the players from the AA team for their help. Our players really enjoy working together to try and make a difference with someone they will never meet,” Copeland said.
The Lakers have collected teddy bears for a couple of seasons now, and each year, pick a different organization to donate the toys too.
In 2019 the toys were donated to the Strathmore Victim Services team who gave the bears to children to use as a comforting tool.
“This year we decided to send the stuffies to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, to help put smiles on the faces of kids dealing with various illnesses during this Christmas season,” Copeland said.
Although the team was not able to attend the drop-off due to COVID restrictions, the team’s efforts lifted the spirits of children during a difficult time.
The organization the toys will be donated to is chosen by the team, and the players then take on the task of ensuring the message gets to their family and friends.
“On behalf of the Chestermere Lakers U18-1 Hockey team, we would like to thank everyone who attended and donated stuffies to the Alberta Children’s Hospital,” Copeland said.
Adding, “Personally, I want to thank each and every player and their parents for making this event a huge success.”