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COOS BAY — The third annual Teddy Bear Toss is returning to help Bay Area Hospital provide a stuffed toy to pediatric patients and the Kids’ HOPE Center.

According to a press release, the event is put on by Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Junior Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Associated Student Government.

The Teddy Bear Toss is at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2, during the men’s basketball game between the Southwestern Lakers and the Clark Penguins at the Southwestern Oregon Community College campus in the Prosper Hall Gym.

“Spectators are encouraged to bring new teddy bears or stuffed animals and toss them onto the court during the halftime presentation,” the release said. “The stuffed animals will be collected and donated to the pediatric unit and the Kids’ HOPE Center. Each individual who brings a new stuffed animal will receive free admission to the game.”

The event helps BAH give stuffed toys to its pediatric patients, which has been proven to help ease anxiety and fear as these young patients are hospitalized.

“Nearly 3,000 children were seen in the Emergency Department at Bay Area Hospital last year and approximately 200 kids were admitted to the Pediatric Unit,” the release said.

Not only that, but one teddy bear goes to every child seen at the Kids’ HOPE Center, the Child Abuse Intervention Center for Coos County.

“Toys like these provide some much needed comfort for children who may be going through a difficult time,” the release said.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.