June 20th, 2024

Teddy Toss spreading community cheer


By Lethbridge Herald on December 12, 2022.

Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Cole Shepard gives a teddy bear to Theodore Foster during a visit to the Audiology and Children’s Allied Health Services unit Monday at the Melcor Centre. Herald photo by Justin Seward

Justin Seward – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge Hurricanes players Jett Jones, Cole Shepard and Bryan Thomson dropped by the Audiology and Children’s Allied Health Services unit at the Melcor Centre on Monday to drop teddy bears off to children and spread a little holiday cheer.

“Specifically a youth while they’re going through a difficult time, hospitalization can be really stressful, increased anxiety (and) just the ability to give the teddy bear helps calm everyone’s nerves, normalize the hospital experience a little bit and make it a little more palatable for the family to be in hospital during a stressful time in the child’s life,” said Jodie Anderson-De Boer, a child life specialist at Chinook Regional Hospital.

Chinook Regional Hospital received over 700 teddy bears from Friday’s Toque and Teddy Toss.

“So I’m really excited to be able to deliver those out,” said Anderson-De Boer. “We also help support other units as well. We’ve sent teddy bears not only to pediatrics and our day procedure area, the mental health area, as well as we’ve sent teddy bears to the ER, to ICU, wherever they’re needed in the hospital.”

Anderson-De Boer said as we know, one of the main ways they cope is through play.

“So anytime that they can play, have something soft to cuddle, that’s really comforting to them and helps them process and cope and shortens their hospital stay when they get a teddy bear,” she said.

Anderson-De Boer thought this was one of the bigger years for teddy bear donations.

“So we would not be able to run the teddy bear program at the hospital without the Hurricanes,” said Anderson-De Boer. “They are the biggest and only contributor to this program. So they’re really the driving force behind it to be able to give teddy bears to people in the Lethbridge community and surrounding areas that we serve.”

For Thomson, after a couple of years of not being able to hand out teddy bears, and to be able to get back and help the community and the kids, is an awesome feeling.

“Yeah it really puts into perspective of what we do this for,” said Thomson. “It’s a great cause and to be able to bring a little bit more joy into the children’s lives in the holiday season, it’s a good feeling.”

Thomson has been with the Canes for five years and participated in three Teddy Bear tosses.

“It’s always a fun time for the team and the players, they all want to be the ones to score that (goal),” said Thomson. “But just going out there and picking up the teddy bears brings joy into our hockey life and for us, too, in the holiday season.”

The total amount of teddies thrown on to the ice on Friday night was 3,893, and toques came to 1,006.

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