MARQUETTE, Mich. – (WJMN) – When the Northern Michigan University Wildcats welcome University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on Saturday Dec. 4, fans have a chance to be part of the action and bring some joy to others in the community.

Northern Michigan University Athletics partnered with the NMU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Mining Journal Cheer Club, for their annual Teddy Bear Toss during the first intermission of Saturday’s hockey game.

“I think people who have been doing this for years, they look forward to it,” said Director of Athletics Forrest Karr. “We’ve had fans asking what date this was going to be occurring, so I think people are pretty used to it. It’s just something that our staff and our student athletes and the fans and everybody else in the community looks forward to.”

In 2020, a record setting 623 bears and stuffed toys were donated during a teddy bear toss event in the parking lot of the Berry Events Center.

“What we do with them is we take them to our toy shop for those kids that are getting toys for Christmas,” said Captain Marie Lewis, Corps Officer for Salvation Army of Marquette County. “And you can’t imagine the joy and the happiness that they have when they see these brand new teddy bears that they get to hug and cuddle and go to sleep with.”

You are encouraged but not required to bring a bear or other stuffed toy to toss on the ice during intermission between the first and second period of Saturday’s game. If you do chuck some fluff, you’ll get a voucher for a free ticket to any remaining 2021-22 home basketball game.

“It’s really important to families and it’s important for our athletic department and our student athletes to give back,” Karr said. “And you know there are a lot of different ways we can do that, and this is one of those small ways. I know that the student athletes enjoy being part of this, and it’s just, it’s a fun time of year to be able to do something that’s going to benefit the people of the Marquette Community.”

The Wildcat hockey team hosts top-ranked UMD this Friday and Saturday, with both games set to face off at 6:37 p.m.