SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls Stampede will bring joy to kids across the Sioux Empire with Friday’s Teddy Bear Toss.
The Stampede has two home games left on the schedule, including tonight’s Teddy Bear Toss Night. The event usually happens before Christmas, but was a late addition to the schedule due to COVID-19.
“Didn’t feel like that was really a good time to be able to do it. We wanted to be able to do it safely and we feel now is a good time. We have staff that’s going to be wearing gloves, picking up all the stuffed animals, we’ll be making sure that they’re sanitized and good to go when they’re being delivered to various charitable organizations around the community,” Stampede President Jim Olander said.
Stuffed animals will rain down on the ice following the Stampede’s first goal tonight against Sioux City and it’s a sight to see.
“I think when they’re all littered onto the ice and you see how great our community is and what they’ve done to support this great cause you can’t help but sit back and smile knowing where these are going and what a difference it’s going to make,” Olander said.
The Teddy Bear Toss will benefit local non-profit groups, including The Salvation Army, which assists thousands of families every year.
“Sometimes we have families that come in and their new to town or maybe in a crisis situation and when something like that is going on and children are involved it’s really great to have something like a teddy bear or stuffed animal to give to them in that situation while the parents are working through what’s going on,” Salvation Army Development, Volunteer and Community Relations Director Marcie Priestley said.
And the Herd is happy to lend a hand.
“Knowing the struggles a lot of these places have been going through, if we can help in just a small way that makes us feel real good about being part of the community,” Olander said.
Tonight’s game against Sioux City starts at 7:05. The Stampede will close the USHL season Saturday, April 24th against Lincoln with “Take my jersey” night.