Columbus River Dragons donate 1600 toys to Valley Rescue Mission after teddy bear toss

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 3:45 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2023 at 8:41 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Columbus River Dragons donated 1,600 toys to the Valley Rescue Mission after their ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ game in December.

The game took place on December 17, 2022, against the Elmira Mammoths.

For this game, fans were asked to bring teddy bears to the game, which would be thrown onto the ice after the first goal. The first goal of the game was scored by #29 Jacob Kelly in the first period, which led to an avalanche of plushies and bears being tossed onto the ice.

“Today we’re honored to be able to donate these stuffed animals/stuffed bears behind us to the Valley Rescue Mission - one of their chapters - and you know - it’s important that all sports team become involved in the community and part of the fabric,” said Scott Brand, president and CEO of Columbus River Dragons. “And this is just one of the little things that we do and we’re so blessed and honored to be able to do it. I’m sure that a lot of the kids are going through some things right now - and if you can just give ‘em a stuffed animal or a stuffed bear and they just get a smile for maybe a minute or so it’s something.”

The River Dragons went on to beat Elmira 3-2. Once cleaned up and counted, the River Dragons totaled over 1,600 teddy bears contributed by our amazing fans.

“1600 Bears flying out there - the first goal was scored and the first period and and so we were ready to rock and roll,” said Jaden Kruger, Event Operations Manager. “Me and all my amazing interns just flew out there and cleaned them up pretty quickly. It was really just a great turn out for us.”

The River Dragons have donated these bears to multiple organizations, including The American Legion, Santa for Military Families, and now the Valley Rescue Mission.