The Grand Rapids Griffins held a “virtual teddy bear toss” earlier this evening, and WOOD TV8 filed a video report from the event…
And WZZM 13’s Matt Gard posted a text report:
2020 has been rough on everyone, and the Grand Rapids Griffins are no exception.
“Going this long without playing is definitely strange,” said defenseman Brian Lashoff. “When we hit September or October you start getting into those months where you’re gearing up for training camp and the start of the season and not having that has been strange.”
At this point, the start of the AHL season has been delayed until February. But the Griffins would not let the circumstances ruin one of their proudest community traditions — the teddy bear toss.
“Over the years, we’ve collected more than 60,000 teddy bears that we’ve been giving to local charities,” said Randy Cleves, the Senior Director of Public Relations for the Griffins. “With the season not happening, we’re still a member of the community. We’re still looking forward to the time, hopefully soon, when the games will resume. But until then, we’re still looking to see what kind of an impact we can make.”
This year, the Griffins teamed up with J&H Family Stores and three local charities for a drive-thru version of the teddy bear toss. Along with being able to donate teddy bears to the Billy Bear Hug Foundation, fans could donate food to Feeding America West Michigan or money to the Salvation Army.
THANK YOU West Michigan for coming out last night to spread some holiday cheer at our Teddy Bear Toss & Holiday Drive Event! pic.twitter.com/j8CGGVC33c— Grand Rapids Griffins (@griffinshockey) December 16, 2020