A superhero hockey game and teddy bear toss benefiting childhood cancer

teddy bear toss flier.JPG

It's a night that brings athletes, hockey fans and children battling cancer together.

It's the annual Tri-City Storm Teddy Bear Toss game.

"We encourage fans to bring a teddy bear, clean and unused, that can be tossed on the ice after the first goal," said head coach and general manager, Anthony Noreen. "Those will be donated to various charities around the tri-city area."

During the game, Storm players will be wearing special edition jerseys to be auctioned off at the end of the game. Proceeds will benefit a Nebraskan foundation.

"Sammy's Superheroes started in 2012 after my son Sam was diagnosed with stage four high risk Neuroblastoma which is a type of childhood cancer," said Sammy's Superheroes board of directors, Erin Nahorney. "So, we decided to start a foundation and to really try to impact what we were seeing during our travels with Sam as far as the lack of options and it was just kind of a really scary time and so we decided that we wanted to put our efforts and that money towards funding some childhood cancer research so that's how it started."

Beyond raising funds, this annual hockey game helps create lasting memories and relationships with Nebraskan children battling cancer.

"There were six children last year that were teamed up with guys on our team," said Noreen. "They spent some time with them before the game, they got to know them, they came out with them during starting line ups and they also came down and said bye to them after the game. So I think it was, I know it was a special thing for our guys to get to know these young kids and hopefully it was a special event for them last year and it will be again this year."

"My own Sammy, his first player Tory Dello was back a couple years ago," said Nahorney.

She explained Dello had lost his mother to cancer around that time.

"They stay in touch. Tory plays at Notre Dame now. So, it's really a special thing that they're doing creating relationships and helping us increase awareness which of course leads to funding for childhood cancer research."

The game will be Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.

"Last year as far as I remember it was one of our best nights of the year as far as number one, turn out and number two especially, the energy within our building," said Noreen. "So, I think it's something that's easy for our fans to get behind and hopefully they turn out and support the event again."

To follow this story and all of Jessica Stevenson's local news coverage, find her on facebook and twitter.

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