Brandon, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings, in association with Shoppers Mall, are excited to announce plans for their annual Teddy Bear & Toque Toss Night at Westoba Place.
The Wheat Kings will play host to the visiting Saskatoon Blades at 7:30pm next Saturday night and fans attending the game are being encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal or toque to the game. When Brandon scores its first goal, they can toss them to the ice below.
All stuffed animals and toques will then be donated to the Brandon & Westman Christmas Cheer Registry. As well, cash donations will be accepted at various stations throughout the Keystone Centre concourse.
“Shoppers Mall is excited to again team up with the Wheat Kings for this exciting, annual event,” says Shoppers Mall Marketing Director Candace McKenzie. “It is a great initiative for our community and we encourage everyone throughout western Manitoba to make plans to come out for this special game, in support of families in need.”
“The donation of stuffed animals and toques will certainly help bring holiday joy to children this Christmas,” she went on to say.
The Teddy Bear Toss is an annual Christmas tradition that began in Kamloops with the Western Hockey League’s Blazers in 1993. The first Teddy Bear Toss in Brandon was held the following year and has been a big hit ever since.
Since the Wheat Kings Holiday tradition began, close to 50,000 stuffed animals have been collected and distributed by the local Christmas Cheer Board. Over 2,500 were collected in 2017.
The American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears recently set a new world record by collecting over 34,000, shattering the previous standard of 28,000, held by the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.
In addition to the Teddy Bear Toss, five participating sponsors have joined the Wheat Kings in providing over 2,000 complimentary tickets to K-4 students within the Brandon School Division. These tickets have been made possible through the generous support of Motel 6, Memories Chapel, Manitoba Hydro, the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Store and the Brandon Sun.
Next Saturday’s game will not only close out a home and home weekend series with the Blades, it will be Brandon’s final home game before Christmas.
Tickets to the game are on sale at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling (204) 726-3555 or online at keystonecentre.com
ABOUT BRANDON & WESTMAN CHRISTMAS CHEER: In November 1955, The Brandon Council of Women saw a need for a Central Christmas Cheer Registry. The aim was to prevent the duplication and see that all needy families received assistance. They set up an office in the St. John Ambulance building. The Registry office was a clearing house for names only and they did not collect or distribute food or gifts. The first year, names of 180 families were distributed to churches and schools that were willing to pack and deliver parcels of Christmas Cheer. The Salvation Army and the Manitoba Telephone System helped out in the beginning and have continued their assistance to this day. By the 70’s, the Registry was packing and distributing hampers. In 2012, The Registry was involved with the distribution of approximately 1,900 hampers in Brandon and the Westman area. Of these hampers, 950 were packed and delivered from the Registry Office. 7 First Nation Communities also received food and gifts for their Christmas parties. Through the cooperation of all helping agencies and groups, names of hamper recipients are submitted to the Registry. Those needing hampers are asked to apply through a social agency, school or church.
ABOUT SHOPPERS MALL:
Shoppers Mall is a 367,000-square-foot dominant enclosed regional shopping centre located in Brandon, Manitoba. The Mall features more than 90 retailers offering a merchandise mix of retail, services, entertainment and restaurants. Visit www.shoppersmallbrandon.com.