Dundee Stars are launching a new fundraiser to help children in Dundee after the loss of their popular Teddy Toss.
Fans will have the opportunity to win a 00 ice hockey jersey off the back of the team’s mascot, Starsky, with all the proceedings being split evenly between:
- Stars in the Community
- Help for Kids
- Dundee Bairns
- Children’s Ward, at Ninewells Hospital
- Big Recovery Food Parcels
- Mission Christmas
On Monday the ice hockey club will launch a raffle on their website where fans can purchase tickets to enter.
What’s the Teddy Toss?
Dundee Stars would usually encourage fans to chuck a teddy onto the rink at first goal around this time of year, and collect all the teddies to donate to various children’s charities and organisations.
But the suspension of this year’s season last month means this popular fundraiser can no longer take place.
Michael Ward, the club’s community manager, said: “We thought about doing a teddy collection but with Covid restrictions and related issues like maybe having to clean the teddies and where to store them before drop-offs could take place, we decided it was better to come up with something new.
“That way we can continue to support these organisations and they can buy what they need with the money.”
How has Dundee Stars’ other community work been affected?
Michael says Covid restrictions, particularly level 3, have made the club’s usual community involvement “difficult” to carry out and completely put a stop to the work they do with schools.
He said: “We did try getting schools here (to Dundee Ice Arena) but we have a maximum allowance of 120 people so couldn’t really get anywhere with that.
“We’re looking at restarting school visits after Easter but it will depend on restrictions at that time.”
Most of the team’s overseas players have returned home due to the suspension of the league which forced their contracts to end – players are taken on a yearly contract, which can be renewed at the start of each season.
Michael said: “Our players are free agents at the moment, so they’re busy working at their other jobs and trying to keep fit for next season.
“We have the home grown players here and they are doing what they can, but there’s only so much we can ask of them because they’re not on a contract.
“We’ve got a small number of staff who are all back now and we’re working on new ideas of how we can grow the business, develop the team and come out of this stronger than ever.
“We usually only have three or four months to do that between seasons but now we have 18 months so there’s no reason we can’t come back the best we’ve ever been.”
Dundee Stars is now focusing on how to get the fans more involved with the club and come back “stronger together”, says Michael.
The club has received no funding, in the form of grants, throughout the pandemic and turned to the fans for some support to bridge the gap, offering them more involvement in the club in return.
It recently launched Gold Club Fan Subscription offering a variety of rewards including having their name engraved on a Stronger Together wall in the arena, behind the scenes tours, hospitality days, discounts, jerseys, pucks and scarfs.
The scheme was inspired by the work fan clubs in other sports, including football clubs.
Michael said: “It’s a great way for fans to support the club during Covid, be there with us and be part of the club in the future.”