By Lethbridge Herald on December 5, 2023.
By Justin Seward
Lethbridge Hurricanes players made a visit to Chinook Regional Hospital to deliver teddy bears to the Pediatric ward from the 27th annual Toque and Teddy Toss on Tuesday afternoon.
The lucky recipient of the some of the bear delivery was three-year-old Knox Marshall, who got to mingle with Canes captain Joe Arntsen, Chase Pauls, Blake Swetlikoff and Noah Chadwick.
“Yeah, it’s awesome,” said Arntsen.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to come here and do this. So to make someone’s day better that might need it and it’s for such a great cause and it means a lot.”
Arntsen said it’s awesome to get out in the community and do this kind of stuff.
“We have such great fans and support from the community here in Lethbridge,” said Arntsen.
“So to come back and give back to them is always awesome.”
In doing these events, Swetlikoff realizes there are things bigger than just hockey.
“We’re providing teddy bears for children that are going through some pretty traumatic experiences or whatever it may be, surgeries, things that are lifechanging,” said Swetlikoff.
“So we’re just doing a small part to provide them some happiness and joy. And so, I think we got to realize that and think about that every once in a while too.”
“Immediate smiles and immediate comfort ,” said Jodie Anderson-De Boer, child life specialist, on the recipient’s reaction when receiving the bears.
“My whole role is comfort and coping for children as they are hospitalized. A lot of that stress comes (from) it’s a new place, it’s scary place, there’s a lot of unknowns. That teddy bear just takes the edge off. It’s very, very welcomed from our families.”
Teddy bear amounts in each department are liaised within the hospital.
“Our needs have actually increased,” said Anderson-De Boer.
“We’re able to liaise with other departments in the hospital and send out teddy bears to other units that need them,”
The Hurricanes support 20 organizations in the city and area with the annual Toque and Teddy Toss.
There were a total of 3,784 bears and 926 toques collected to support the charities at Friday’s annual Toque and Teddy Bear Toss game.