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Record-setting year for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous Teddy Bear Toss

630 CHED Santas Anonymous Teddy Bear Toss. December 8, 2018. Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED

The fur was flying at Saturday night’s Oil Kings game.

It was the 12th annual Teddy Bear Toss for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous, and 2018 was another record-setting year. A total of 14,981 stuffed animals rained down on the ice at Rogers Place after Jalen Luypen scored the first goal of the game in the second period.

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Last year, a total of 14,122 bears were collected, breaking the previous year’s record-setting total.

Lana Nordlund, 630 CHED Santas Anonymous executive director, told Global News the event is becoming a tradition for families.

“The Edmonton Oil Kings is an affordable outing for most families. We’re able to combine it with The Brick and their sponsorship and, of course, 630 CHED Santas Anonymous receiving all the bears. They have kids there in the stands that are singing Christmas carols. It’s a wonderful atmosphere.

“I’ve actually never [thrown a bear],” Norlund said. “I’ve normally been on the ice helping to collect them. But to see them coming down and then to watch the video later is absolutely phenomenal.”

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Oil Kings players were all wearing special jerseys for the game, which even included a furry-looking midsection and tail. The jerseys will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.

About 60 Scouts and their parents were on hand at Santa’s Depot Sunday morning to sort the bears collected. Nordlund says this will be a busy week, as there are only a few final days before delivery weekend.

“We’ve got other volunteers in here sorting other donations. So, things are going pretty good.

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“I suspect next Tuesday or Wednesday we’re going to be running around. But we are prepared for it. We are really prepared for it.”

Volunteers will begin handing out gifts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15. Deliveries will continue into Sunday as well.

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More than 10,000 packages will be handed out to families around Edmonton.

Norlund said the organization is still looking for toys for zero to two-year-olds and also for kids between the ages of nine and 12.

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The Oil Kings went on to win Saturday’s game against the Kamloops Blazers 3-2 in overtime.

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