PORTLAND, ME – November 23, 2020 – The Maine Mariners and Cross Insurance Arena, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and the South Portland Professional Firefighters, will host a drive through Teddy Bear Toss holiday event outside of the Cross Insurance Arena on December 5th. The Mariners announced a month-long stuffed animal drive last week, in place of the annual on-ice “Toss.”
Fans will be able to drive down Center Street (on the Northeast side of the arena) via Free Street between 9 AM and 12 PM on December 5th, and “toss” their stuffed animal donations into bins and fire vehicles, provided by the South Portland Fire Department. Donations will benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and the South Portland Holiday Toy Drive. All stuffed animals must be new and with tags attached.
Santa Claus will be making an appearance, collecting letters from young fans. The Mariners will provide a printable template at MarinersOfMaine.com. Beacon the Puffin will also be present, greeting fans from a distance, while holiday music fills the air. Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase Mariners Holiday Packs and receive them in-hand.
The event will take place on Center Street, a right turn off of Free Street, just past the Mariners front office and ends on the corner of Center and Spring Street, near the Cross Insurance Entrance
Alternatively, fans can drop off stuffed animal donations at the Mariners front office on 94 Free Street in Portland, Monday through Thursday from 9 AM to 4 PM through December 18th, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day. Teddy bears can also be purchased and donated through the Mariners merchandise store for $10, with the option of bundling an end section ticket voucher for a 2021-22 game for $20.
Traditionally, the “Teddy Bear Toss” is a holiday staple across minor league hockey, with fans encouraged to throw stuffed animals onto the ice after the home team’s first goal. On December 7th, 2019, Mariners fans tossed 1,523 bears as forward Jake Elmer scored the goal just 2:15 into the game against Adirondack. Proceeds benefitted local fire departments.
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine has provided youth development programs for children ages 6-18. Their Clubhouses are safe places to learn, have fun, and develop skills and interests that last a lifetime. The Clubs serve nearly 3,000 members each year at five Clubhouses throughout Southern Maine.