The Waterloo Black Hawks’ annual Teddy Bear Toss returns this Thursday night during the Thanksgiving game at Young Arena against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Last season, both beloved annual traditions were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Hawks did not play on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1996. Since 2001, the holiday game had also included the Teddy Bear Toss immediately following the Black Hawks’ first goal of the night.
“Fans look forward to this, and it is a great representation of their generosity,” said Black Hawks President of Business Operations Joe Greene. “There have been many people who have asked whether the Teddy Bear Toss was returning, and we are happy to confirm that it will as we celebrate Waterloo’s 50th Thanksgiving home game later this week.”
The Black Hawks anticipate hundreds of fans attending the game will bring new stuffed toys. Those in attendance will throw their teddy bears onto the ice when the Black Hawks record their first goal. The toys will then be donated to children in need through Toys-4-Tots, Furries 4 Fosters, and local hospitals.
Waterloo’s first Thanksgiving game was played in 1964 and became an established part of the Black Hawks’ calendar from 1972 through 1989. Although the holiday was missed on a few occasions, the game has a special significance as many Cedar Valley families come to the rink after enjoying their Thanksgiving meal together. Earlier this month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recognized Waterloo’s 50th Thanksgiving home game with an official proclamation, wishing “…all the players, coaches, and fans the warmest regards of the State of Iowa as they prepare for this year's milestone game.”
Seats are still available to see the Hawks host the RoughRiders Thursday. To order, visit tickets.waterlooblackhawks.com or call the Domino’s Black Hawks Box Office at (319) 291-7680.