A Mansfield school has received a funding boost after a charity ‘teddy bear toss’ by supporters of ice hockey team, the Sheffield Steelers.
The charity spectacular saw fans of the newly-crowned Elite League Play-Off winners throw teddies onto the ice after the Steelers scored the opening goal in the recent clash with the Coventry Blaze at the Motorpoint Arena.
Now around 2,000-plus teddy bears have been donated to Fountaindale SEN School, which will sell them to raise money to buy equipment for its new building set to open in October.
Fountaindale, on Nottingham Road, helps youngsters aged between three and 19 with physical and sensory needs.
Principal Mark Dengel was delighted with the latest donation, saying: “It’s amazing, without that sort of support we couldn’t provide half the specialist equipment that we need for our children.
“Because of the detail of their needs we need a vast amount of technology and we want to equip the school with the best technology there is.
“We are going to sell them. We think there is well over 2,000 teddy bears there, so that’s going to bring in a good sum of money.”
The teddy bear toss was the idea of the Steelers’ players after a visit to Fountaindale last month, organised as part of the club’s North Notts Community Partnership with Mansfield firm, Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies.
Last week, Steelers star Danny Meyers was on hand to present a cheque for £1,363 - with Malk and Rachel Hall of Hall-Fast - which was raised by him and his team-mates after teddy bears they made themselves were auctioned off following the Blaze game.
He said: “It’s awesome to come and meet all the kids here and to see their enthusiasm and how excited they are.
“The staff here are tremendous as well, they are so kind.
“Coming down here is a great thrill for me and is actually pretty close to where I live as well, so I’m really glad to have met the people and I’m really glad we can help them out.”
Anglia Way-based Hall-Fast has committed to raise £50,000 for Fountaindale within two years and hosts its second, annual charity ball for the school at the John Fretwell Centre on 9th May.