They live in the shadows, barely visible.
Sometimes lost, sometimes on the back of shelves forgotten, buried under piles of outgrown toys and sometimes just left behind. They are sad, unloved, useless…
They don’t deserve this.
Once, they caused a sparkle in a youngster’s eye.
Once, they were a bedtime companion to hold.
Once, they were a confidant, a guest at a little girl’s tea party, a shoulder to cry on.
Now they sit, forgotten and forlorn, remembering the days of their usefulness and yearning to be loved once more.
And they want to fly.
Funny thing for a teddy bear to desire, to be thrown.
But this December 2, they will get that chance – to be thrown on to the ice when the Syracuse Crunch Hockey Club scores their first goal of the game against the Bellville Senators. Their lives begin anew with that flight, starting a journey that will lead them into the waiting arms of a child that needs a new friend.
Can YOU help them begin this journey of renewal? Can YOU give a forgotten teddy bear, pound puppy, beany baby or any other stuffed toy from your home a new life? Think of the joy on a young child’s face as they discover a new friend waiting for them in what might, otherwise, be a bleak holiday season.
This is the seventh year that Stanley Steemer will partner with the Syracuse Crunch for the Tired Teddy Bear Toss. These two civic-minded organizations, led by Jeff Triciani of Stanley Steemer and Jim Sarosy of the Crunch, collect teddy bears and all manner of stuffed toys in preparation for this event, where they are distributed on the seats in the OnCenter War Memorial Arena. Some of the crunch fans bring their own collections of stuffed toys, bags full, to throw on to the ice.
This is the most fun anyone will ever have at a hockey game. The smiles on the faces of the fans as they throw the toys as far onto the ice as they can, and the grins of the players is a special sight.
With amazing speed, the War Memorial staff, Crunch Man, the Ice Girls and volunteers collect the toys for the next step in their journey, to the Stanley Steemer building on Commerce Blvd where the Stanley Steemer technicians turn their attention from professionally cleaning carpets to cleaning, refurbishing and disinfecting the thousands of Stuffed toys who began their journey with that exuberant flight.
This labor of love takes nearly a week to accomplish by four or five technicians, and owner Jeff Triciani and manager Mack Lemmon. Their considerable expertise in the task guarantee that when the toys are eventually delivered to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau at Shoppingtown, they will be in as close to “like new” condition as possible, and ready to become best friends with children from nearly 3,000 families in the Syracuse area.
This year the Salvation Army has moved the annual Christmas Bureau to the former JC Penney store in the Shoppingtown Mall from their usual venue, the OnCenter. Although the location is unfamiliar to the Christmas Bureau, it does have advantages including lots of parking and lets volunteers and individuals wait inside, and not out in the Syracuse winter.
The outpouring generosity of individuals and companies in the Syracuse area is truly astounding, as is the work of Stanley Steemer and the Salvation Army in distributing the mountains of food, books, toys and yes, teddy bears into the hands of those who truly need them.
Will YOU be a part of the generosity and the fun?
Please bring your gently used or new stuffed toys to either the Syracuse Crunch Hockey Club’s office in the War Memorial Arena, or drop them off at the Stanley Steemer building, 6710 Commerce Blvd, near Carrier Circle.
For more information, or to donate, please contact Stanley Steemer at (315) 455-7148, or the Syracuse Crunch at (315) 473-4444
Why don’t YOU be part of the fun? Crunch tickets are very affordable, and can be purchased at http://www.syracusecrunch.org. Bring your family. Bring your holiday spirit!
And yes, by all means, bring your teddy bears!