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By: Chris Robinson
Photo by Todd Reicher
Rockford, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs today announced that Chicago Blackhawks Senior Director, Minor League Affiliations, Mark Bernard, will again lead the “Bernie’s Bears” initiative in support of local charities during the month of November.
Bernard and his wife, Julie, will donate a stuffed teddy bear to charity for each goal the IceHogs score during the team’s 11 games in November and the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 2. The Hogs currently lead the league in scoring with 38 goals thus far in the 2017-18 season.
“Julie and I are once again thrilled to donate to Teddy Bear Toss for each IceHogs goal leading up to the game," said Bernard. "The city of Rockford and the community have always been outstanding and this is small way for us to give back as a family. We would also like to challenge any local businesses or families to jump on board and match the donation to make this the biggest Teddy Bear Toss in IceHogs history. The Chicago Blackhawks have already decided to match the donation, and we are looking forward to adding many other partners.”
Any fan, company or organization interested in matching or participating in the Bernie’s Bears donation should contact the IceHogs front office at or (815) 986-6468. Those who participate in this year’s Bernie’s Bears donation drive will receive recognition on the BMO Harris Bank Center jumbotron during the IceHogs’ Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 2.
Fans are also encouraged to participate in the single-game stuffed-animal drive during the Teddy Bear Toss game. Those interested in participating can bring a new or gently-used stuffed animal to the game against Texas, and after the IceHogs score their first goal against the Stars, can throw the stuffed animal onto the ice. The stuffed animals will then be collected and later donated to local hospitals and charities.
Last season, the IceHogs and their generous fan base donated 3,491 bears for charity. To date, the IceHogs have accumulated 27,735 teddy bears for local charities.
Next Home Game: The IceHogs return to the BMO Harris Bank Center on Nov. 10 to take on the San Antonio Rampage on Pucks & Paws Night. Fans are invited to bring their dogs to the BMO for this special occasion, and the first 1,500 through the doors will receive a plush Otis dog toy, courtesy of Riverside Dental. Tickets can be purchased at, by calling (815) 968-5222 or in-person at the BMO Harris Bank Center Box Office.

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