The 6th Annual Teddy Bear Toss Event

Last Friday, the UNE men’s hockey team hosted their sixth annual Teddy Bear Toss Game in partnership with United Way of Southern Maine (a local nonprofit company that aids in fundraising). With a 8 – 2 blowout against the Suffolk Rams at the Harold Alfond Forum, Friday night shaped up to be a win for both charity and Nor’easters fans.


The Teddy Bear Toss is an annual charity event hosted every winter, and in its short life, has become one of UNE’s most popular traditions. Each year, forum managers collect donations of teddy bears on the eve of the Teddy Bear Toss Game. The next night fans attending the game are each given a teddy bear to bring with them into the stands. 

When the Nor’easters score their first point, fans holding teddy bears throw them over the glass screen in what can only be described as a sea of cute and cuddly stuffed animals. After the tidal wave of fluff has subsided and the stuffed animals are swept away by hockey sticks, forum managers ship them out to United Way, where they are distributed to local hospitals and other organizations.

This year’s Teddy Bear Toss was the largest yet. Forum manager, Emily Bolduc, estimated that approximately 3000 teddy bears, in total, had been donated for both the women’s and men’s games. 

Bolduc highlighted the new connection with Biddeford school districts, stating, “The big thing we did this year is reach out to our local schools, and they did bring a lot of our teddy bears in for this toss.”

Teddy bears weren’t the only high numbers at this year’s Teddy Bear Toss. While the men’s event was postponed to Friday night due to weather, Nor’easter fans certainly didn’t let that phase them. 

“I’d assume about a thousand people attending the men’s game tonight,” said Bolduc, “This is one of the biggest events we host here.”

While the Teddy Bear Toss only happens for a single night, forum managers work tirelessly throughout the year to prepare for it. 

Fellow forum manager Julia White says, “We have our meetings on Thursday mornings, we have to figure out what our theme is going to be, where we’ll be getting donations from, and who our sponsors will be. Along with the logistics that are involved.”

White was particularly happy with the liveliness of students at the game, stating, “I’m a sophomore, and this is my first year participating in the Teddy Bear Toss. The energy of everyone at this hockey game, particularly when they were throwing the bears on the ice, is probably my favorite part of this whole event.”

Overall, it seems that this year’s Teddy Bear toss was a hit. 

“We were especially happy with the women’s game, since more people came to that game than any other, and the men’s game has been absolutely amazing so far,” White said. 

While Forum managers seem exceptionally pleased with their success this year, UNE is certain they’re already hard at work brainstorming ways to top this year’s brilliant performance.