Ferris State Athletics hosts Salvation Army Day

Hockey fans participate in the Teddy Bear Toss during Salvation Army Day at Ferris State University on Saturday. All the stuffed animals donated at the event will go to local children enrolled in the organization’s Angel Tree program. (Pioneer photos/Taylor Fussman)

BIG RAPIDS — Stuffed animals soared through the air at Ewigleben Ice Arena Saturday night as hockey fans supported their team and the community during Salvation Army Day at Ferris State University.

The Teddy Bear Toss, where attendees of the hockey game had the opportunity to toss a new stuffed animal onto the ice which will be donated to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program, was just one of the events that took place on Saturday to support the Salvation Army.

Brantley Spedowski was one of many children in attendance of the FSU hockey game on Saturday to participate in the Salvation Army Teddy Bear Toss.

Throughout the day, FSU Athletics hosted the red kettle bell ringers at various athletic events with the hope of raising $120,000 to meet the needs of the Salvation Army’s clients throughout the year.

Envoy Theresa Hoskins said they do not know how much was raised during Salvation Army Day at this time, but the money raised will go not only toward Christmas programs such as Angel Tree, but also for sending children to summer camp and providing free after-school programs, among other activities.

Red kettle bell ringers were stationed at several FSU athletic events throughout the day on Saturday.

“Ferris has always been a wonderful experience for us,” Hoskins said. “They’ve always been very supportive.”

She added these fundraising efforts help the organization provide support to people in Mecosta, Osceola, Lake and Newaygo counties.

Crystal Willson, a volunteer with the Salvation Army in Big Rapids, said having the red kettle bell ringers and the Teddy Bear Toss at the FSU hockey game is a good way to get the community involved in helping others.

“I think it’s a great way to give back to your community, especially for the students,” she said.

Ewigleben Ice Arena was filled with hockey fans gathered to give back to their community during Salvation Army Day, hosted by Ferris State Athletics.

Attendees participate in the Salvation Army Teddy Bear Toss at the FSU hockey game against Bowling Green State this weekend.

Volunteers help collect stuffed animals after the Teddy Bear Toss.

Several bags were filled with stuffed animals from the Teddy Bear Toss on Saturday. Salvation Army Envoy Theresa Hoskins said they do not have a final count yet, but last year more than 1,000 stuffed animals were donated by the community.

Mackenzie Dawes, a sophomore at FSU and volunteer with the Salvation Army, worked as a red kettle bell ringer on Saturday. The red kettle bell program will continue until 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24.

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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