Every Christmas season, the Teddy Bear Toss game by the Portland Winterhawks and their opponents is held in Portland. Spectators bring teddy bears or various stuffed animals to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and throw them onto the ice after the Winterhawks’ first goal. This opening goal triggers a fur flood with over 10,000 stuffed toys being tossed and hurled onto the ice rink.
This lovely event is one of the most popular and fun gatherings of the season. It was initiated to enliven the holidays for children in need. All the animals collected from the ice rink go to charities and children’s hospitals to bring cheer to families facing rough conditions.
The Portland Winterhawks are considered to be one of the pioneers of this unique Teddy Bear Toss tradition. The first game took place in Portland in 1998 with Teddy Bear scoring the first goal. Now almost every junior team does it, but the long history of this tradition, particularly in Rose City, gives this charitable act a distinctive mark for Hawks fans.