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Community First’s mascot steals the show at Gamblers’ Teddy Bear Toss

Over 6,700 teddy bears donated for local hospitals

February 20, 2013

GREEN BAY – Over 6,700 teddy bears were tossed on the ice during the Green Bay Gamblers game Feb. 16 but the bear having the most fun appeared to be the Community First mascot.

Adam Streich, husband of CFCU marketing team member education coordinator Jessica Streich, donned the bear costume and the customized hockey jersey with the Community First logo, fully embracing the mascot role and doing Community First proud.

CFCU was the title sponsor of the 14th annual Teddy Bear Toss, a popular event in which attendees bring new or gently used teddy bears that are thrown on the ice when the first goal is scored by a Gamblers’ player. The bears are then donated to hospitals throughout northeastern Wisconsin and other organizations to get them into the hands of kids who are hurting and in need of some comfort and cheer.

Before the game, Adam was in the lobby of the Resch Center greeting fans, especially kids. When it came closer to game time, the former hockey player and current youth hockey mentor and referee showed off his skating skills. He joined Ace, the Gamblers’ mascot, in a variety of activities to get the fans and players fired up for the game.

 “The mascot was a great way for Community First to interact with the fans,” said Jason Habeck, Green Bay Gamblers media relations manager/corporate sales. “Overall it was a great event and Adam did an exceptional job interacting with people and getting the brand out there.”

Over 7,500 people attended the game.

“He embraced being the bear,” said Jessica of her husband. “He was actually pretty excited right away when I asked him about it. He loves doing anything with kids. He volunteers a lot in the community. He definitely enjoyed it.”

Two days after the Teddy Bear Toss, some Gamblers’ players and CFCU’s Josh Bushmaker, the Howard branch manager, went to one of the Aurora Bay Care Medical Center pediatric units to begin distributing the bounty of bears.

“It’s a great way for our players to go out and see the end result of the game and to see the smiles on a child’s face when they present them with a bear,” Habeck said.

Bushmaker agreed. “It was just neat to see their eyes light up with the joy that, ‘Hey you’re in the hospital but you’re getting a teddy bear.’ Kids love stuffed animals.”

Bushmaker brought his 5-year-old daughter and 4-year-old nephew to the game. “After the goal was scored, watching the Teddy Bears go flying, they could not believe how many there were. It was a blast.”