JANESVILLE, WI — The Janesville Jets have finalized details for two promo nights next weekend, each with a specific community focus as the holiday season approaches.
The Jets’ second annual “Ice Out Hunger” event will be held next Friday, December 8th at the Janesville Ice Arena as the Jets take on the visiting Kenai River Brown Bears. The Jets will donate $2 to the School District of Janesville’s Bags of Hope, a food drive that last year fed 350 families and 50 seniors in the Janesville area, according to a recent Gazette article. Fans are also encouraged to receive $1 off their admission by bringing canned goods and nonperishables to benefit ECHO of Janesville.
“The School District has always been a great community partner of ours, and we applaud their efforts every season with the Bags of Hope Program,” said Kevin Meegan, director of community outreach. “The Jets are very proud to help this season. We would love nothing more than for the Janesville community to help us pack the rink Friday and support the District’s initiatives.”
The Jets are also holding their fourth annual Teddy Bear Toss event on the Saturday, December 9th game versus the Springfield Jr. Blues. The Janesville Gazette is sponsoring this season’s event.
The Teddy Bear Toss is a popular Christmas season staple for teams across junior hockey. Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears to the game, and to throw them onto the ice when the home team scores its first goal. The toys are then gathered up to be donated as Christmas presents to hospitals and charities. The tradition was started in 1993 by the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers.
For the Jets’ event, all bears and animals will be collected and donated to the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots program. The Jets have already received plush donations from Kohl’s and Perfectly Plus. Like with Friday’s food drive, every fan bringing a plush animal will receive $1 off their admission.
“The Teddy Bear Toss is a completely unique event on the Jets’ promotional calendar,” said Meegan. “There’s nothing else like it, and nothing as fun to see than an avalanche of plush teddy bears cascading over the glass. Every year we seem to get more and more bears, and we’re hoping to set a record again this year.”
The Janesville Salvation Army has been helping area residents for 130 years, and serves not only Janesville but the whole North Rock County area, including Footville, Evansville, Milton, and Orfordville.
The Jets have held community events on seven of their first 14 home games, benefiting Mercyhealth Regional Cancer Center, Milton Middle School, VetsRoll, Housing 4 Our Vets, Bags of Hope, ECHO, and the Salvation Army.
“”Your Town Your Team” is not just a slogan for us,” said President Bill McCoshen. “It’s a key part of our mission. The Jets organization and our players strive to give back to Janesville by donating time and money to important local partners.”