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Teddy bears, festive Coquitlam Express jerseys to benefit children's charity

The junior 'A' club will sport these holiday sweaters during its annual Teddy Bear Toss Night against the Victoria Grizzlies.

The designers of the Coquitlam Express jerseys have embraced the season as a special community game is coming soon.

The BC Hockey League (BCHL) franchise is set to host its annual Teddy Bear Toss Night next Friday (Dec. 9) in which the players will wear festive sweaters while playing at home against Victoria.

It's a red jersey with a green and white trim, and includes a very determined-looking teddy bear holding a hockey stick while wearing a scarf and hockey helmet.

The uniforms will then be auctioned off for Kirmac Cares for Kids, a charity that supports the BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

"We are honoured to be partnering with Kirmac on this special night," said Express general manager Tali Campbell in a news release.

"With the help of Kirmac, we are making an already special night even better with the special jerseys, and partnering with BC Children's Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital to invite as many families as we can to the game."

Kirmac Cares for Kids has raised more than $3.5 million for kids in need since 2010, according to its website.

Meanwhile, local residents are encouraged to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

When the Express score their first goal of the game, or instructed otherwise, fans will throw their donation over the glass and onto the ice.

This is set to continue a beloved tradition among junior hockey leagues as it encourages the community to think of those that may not be able to spend the holidays with their families.

"Fans love it as it's something different because normally, you'd get thrown out for throwing something on the ice and it's a great event as many teddy bears get donated to families in need," Campbell told the Tri-City News following the return of Teddy Bear Toss Night last season after the pandemic hiatus.

The stuffed animals are set to be donated to "a local non-profit to give to children."

In 2021, Christian MacDougall made it rain teddy bears for the Express just 40 seconds into their divisional clash with Surrey, and were donated to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

The Express have also partnered with the Surrey Memorial Hospital to invite families to the game and have children in care redesign rinkboards ads.

Coquitlam will face-off against the Grizzlies on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

It'll be the third of a three-game homestand for the black and gold, which begins tonight (Dec. 2), 7 p.m. against Langley.

The second is set for tomorrow (Dec. 3), also at 7 p.m., when the Express will play Surrey at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre.


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