Stampede players deliver teddy bears to Avera pediatric unit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Stampede players may be a force to reckon with on the ice, but they are teddy bears off it.

On Wednesday, several hockey players made a special delivery at the pediatric unit at Avera Hospital.

The team collected the stuffed animals during its annual Teddy Bear Toss night.

Patients and players said they loved the visit.

"It just makes us feel better, like someone's there to comfort us," Kade Shumaker said.

"It means a lot," Stampede forward Blake Bride said. "We have so much to offer here, we always play hockey, we always have extra time, so to be able to get out and help the community and help people who maybe need a little pick-me-up on a day, it's good to be out here to see some smiles."

The Stampede plans to make deliveries to various non-profit groups over the next two weeks.