Rockford, Ill. – The Rockford IceHogs today announced that Chicago Blackhawks Vice President, Hockey Operations/Team Affiliates, 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 13 games in November and the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 1. The Hogs have already combined for eight goals through three games this month.
“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 a 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 [email protected] 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 video board during the IceHogs’ Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 1.
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 more than 3,700 bears for charity. To date, the IceHogs have accumulated roughly 35,000 teddy bears for local charities.
NEXT HOME GAME: Wednesday, Nov. 7 vs. Iowa Wild | 10:30 a.m.
The IceHogs host the Iowa Wild this Wednesday for their annual School Day Game. Kids from local area schools are invited to take a break from the classroom and come learn with the IceHogs.