Hershey Bears teddy bear toss collects over 52K stuffed animals for charity, setting new record

Stuffed animals will be handed off to more than 2 dozen charities and eventually, into the arms of children in need

Tens of thousands of stuffed animals were tossed onto the Hershey Bears skating rink during the team's annual charity game in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, setting a new world record. 

More than 52,300 stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes were thrown from the stands seconds after the first goal of the game between the Hershey Bears, the primary development club for the NHL's Washington Capitals, and the Hartford Wolf Pack, an affiliate of the New York Rangers.

Thousands of stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during the 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

Thousands of stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during the 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  (Hershey Bears)

Soon, the stuffed animals will be handed off to more than two dozen charities and eventually, into the arms of children in need.  

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The 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss marks the 20th time the event has taken place at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

The tradition, however, first started in Canadian Junior Hockey during the early 1990s, a Hershey Bears spokesperson told FOX News. 

"Once we saw it, we thought it was a great and fun way to help give back to our community and make a difference," the spokesperson said, adding that the stuffed animals "provide uplifting moments for children in need, who might not otherwise have toys or stuffed animals." 

Thousands of stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during the 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center  in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

Thousands of stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during the 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center  in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  (Hershey Bears)

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During Saturday's game, a crowd of 10,500 people threw the stuffed animals onto the ice, pausing the game for about 30-45 minutes, according to the team. 

During that time, "an army of volunteers, junior hockey players, Bears players, and team members" removed stuffed animals, which were then bagged and sorted by size by more than 60 volunteers. 

The 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

The 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  (Hershey Bears)

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As part of the club's Hershey Bears Cares initiative, which highlights the team's philanthropic activities and volunteer efforts, the stuffed animals were donated to more than 25 local organizations, including Dauphin County Children and Youth; Cocoa Packs; Boys & Girls Club of Harrisburg; Palmyra Lions Club; Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area; and Children's Miracle Network Hershey. 

Thousands of stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during the 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center  in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

Thousands of stuffed animals were thrown onto the ice during the 2022 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss at the Giant Center  in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  (Hershey Bears)