SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Thunderbirds announced that a new record-high total of 6,489 stuffed animals were collected as part of Saturday’s annual Teddy Bear Toss at the MassMutual Center.
While the ‘toss’ portion of this annual event took place following Mathias Laferriere’s game-opening goal on Saturday, the most meaningful portion of the event occurred on Monday, when Laferriere, team Captain Matthew Peca, Malcolm Subban, and Zach Dean joined team mascot Boomer and T-Birds staff members on the team bus and delivered the stuffed animals throughout the Pioneer Valley.
Charitable benefactors of these donations include the Center for Human Development, the Springfield Boys & Girls Club, Square One, the Boys & Girls Club Family Center of Springfield, Ronald McDonald House, Square One, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, and the Springfield YMCA.
“Another sellout crowd on Teddy Bear Toss night showcased the generosity and warm hearts our fan base possess,” Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa said. “It’s hard to express how grateful we are for the outpouring of kindness from our fans and community. These stuffed animals will bring so much joy to children in Western Mass. The smiles on their faces make this event a worthwhile endeavor every year.”
Established during the Thunderbirds’ inaugural season in 2016, the Teddy Bear Toss has contributed more than 32,000 stuffed animals to local Springfield charities, all in the spirit of providing gifts and smiles to underprivileged and underserved youth in the Greater Springfield community.
Charitable organizations not listed above that have an interest in receiving teddy bears can contact the Thunderbirds by emailing [email protected].