The Calgary Hitmen 2020 Teddy Bear Collection held this past weekend was a huge success. The three-day safe, socially distanced curbside drop netted 18,063 stuffed toys for charity.
Given the COVID-19 restrictions, the 26th annual Teddy Bear Toss game was replaced this holiday season by ‘Teddy Bear Lane.’ Fans were invited to proceed along the Christmas decorated and lighted Fifth Street SE traffic loop entrance of Scotiabank Saddledome. From the cozy confines of their vehicle they gifted their bears to one of Santa’s elves to toss into an inflatable outdoor rink.
“On behalf of the entire Hitmen and CSEC organization I would like to thank and congratulate Hitmen fans, Calgarians, sponsors and our staff for making the Teddy Bear Lane a wonderful experience and success,” said Hitmen Vice President and Alternate Governor Mike Moore. “We were moved by the outpouring of kindness during these difficult times and extremely touched by the smiles, thoughtfulness and joy everyone displayed during the event. Teddy Bear Lane could not have happened without the incredible support of our donors and supporters and we are forever grateful.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, all bears have been put through a rigorous screening process and are now in quarantine before they will be donated to local agencies on Thursday, December 10th.
Charitable organizations set to receive the stuffed toys include; The Salvation Army, Calgary Food Bank, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Cerebral Palsy Alberta, Cochrane and area Event Society, Wood’s Homes, Horizon Housing Society and Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta.
The collection was one of three options for fans to support the campaign which also included an online Calgary Zoo panda bear purchase, drop off bins at any Calgary area Toys”R”Us location and a residential pickup service thanks to KidSport Calgary.
The Hitmen organization would like to recognize and pay special thanks to Tom Crist who generously purchased 1,000 bears with a $20,000 donation. Calendar Club Calgary was also instrumental with the collection of over 3,400 bears.
Teddy bears can still be donated to local agencies by purchasing online until Friday, December 11th.