IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – The fifth annual Bring-a-Bear Teddy Bear Toss will return next week at a Kingsford Flivvers hockey game as part of First National Bank & Trust’s Project Teddy Bear program. The goal of the annual event is to collect new stuffed animals to donate to local area emergency responders, charities, and crisis centers.

The toss will happen on Tuesday, November 22, with a game between Kingsford and the Escanaba Eskymos beginning at 6 p.m. Central Time at Mountain View Ice Arena in Iron Mountain.

Admission to the game will cost $1 for anyone who brings a stuffed animal to donate. The toys will be tossed onto the ice once the Flivvers score their first goal of the game.

“Speaking to our local emergency responders and hearing their touching stories about the truly positive effects of giving a child a stuffed animal during an emergency situation reiterates why First National Bank & Trust created Project Teddy Bear,” said Matthew Lutz, First National Bank & Trust Chief Financial Officer. “That hit very close to home a couple of years ago when I was in the Emergency Room with my son, and saw his face light up when he was handed a stuffed animal. It is for those reasons we are enthusiastic about continuing to grow this wonderful family friendly event and will hopefully break our previous records of collecting stuffed toys.”

Additionally, the evening’s normally scheduled ‘Chuck-a-Puck’ game will be replaced for the night with ‘Air-the-Bear’, in which participants can purchase a chance to throw a numbered bear and attempt to hit center ice for prizes. all proceeds from the game will benefit the Flivver Hockey program.

“KHS hockey is proud to be a part of the Teddy Bear Toss event; it’s a fun time and helps so many kids during a crisis in our community,” said Greg Wadge, head coach of the Kingsford High School Varsity Hockey Team. “Additionally, having all those teddy bears tossed on the ice during a game adds extra excitement and we are grateful for our fans and happy to help out the community.”

First National Bank & Trust added the following about the event in a release:

Since its inception in 2017, Project Teddy Bear has donated over 1,500 new stuffed toys to local organizations. Project Teddy Bear is part of First National Bank & Trust’s ongoing dedication to supporting and strengthening our community. The toy drive will continue throughout December with contributions being collected at the First National Bank & Trust downtown office at 233 S. Stephenson Ave.