2024 GIANT Teddy Bear Toss benefits Penn State Health Children’s Hospital

At a hockey game in an indoor arena, hockey players skate around on the ice amid thousands of stuffed animals that fans had tossed onto the ice.Fans hurl thousands of stuffed animals onto the ice at the Hershey Bears’ annual GIANT Teddy Bear Toss, on Jan. 7, 2024.

The thousands of teddy bears and other stuffed animals that fans threw onto the ice at yesterday’s Hershey Bears hockey game will translate into a generous donation for Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. The game marked the Bears’ 22nd annual “GIANT Teddy Bear Toss” to benefit local charities and children’s organizations.

January 8, 2024Penn State Health News

For the past eight years, the Sweigart Family Foundation in Lancaster County has supported the GIANT Teddy Bear Toss by donating a dollar to Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital for every bear thrown onto the ice. This year, the foundation pledged that if fans throw at least 50,000 plush items onto the ice, they would donate $55,000. Fans far surpassed that number, reaching 74,599, breaking the all-time record for number of bears and stuffed animals thrown onto the ice during a hockey game. This brings the Sweigart Family Foundation’s total donations to over $325,000 since 2016.

More than 100 volunteers collected, counted and sorted the teddy bears, which will be donated to more than 30 local organizations. Since the first event in 2001, the GIANT Teddy Bear Toss has collected 464,107 stuffed animals for local charities.

Miracle Child Harper Morgan and her mom, Lyndsay Gardner, from Lititz, Lancaster County, were interviewed on the ice during intermission. “Harper has nothing but the best memories of the hospital, and that’s all because of the amazing staff and the activities that are made possible by Children’s Miracle Network,” Gardner said.

In addition to sponsoring the event, The GIANT Company made a $10,000 donation to Children’s Miracle Network during the game.

Learn more at cmnhershey.org.

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