The 8th annual Teddy Bear Toss will take place on Saturday March 12 as the El Paso Rhinos host the Tulsa Oilers in the first round of the Thorn Cup playoffs.

This remarkable event celebrates the life of my dear friend Joni Arnett, and helps children in need in doing so.

Joni tragically lost her life nearly 9 years ago.  She was a former model, UTEP professor, and well respected member of the community.  In honor of her memory, Joni’s parents established the annual Teddy Bear Toss which has been an overwhelming success the past 7 years.

Rhinos fans are asked to bring a teddy bear to Saturday night’s game, and when the Rhinos score their first goal of the contest, fans will throw their teddy bears onto the ice.  The teddy bears will be collected by El Paso Rhinos officials and then the El Paso Police Department and El Paso Fire station will donate them to children in crises.

The game begins at 7:30 with a magical moment as Joni's two sons and brother will help drop the fist puck.  Fans should arrive no later than 7:00 p.m. to get a seat and enjoy an evening of hockey, teddy bear tossing, and, most importantly, celebrating Joni’s life and helping children in need.

I cannot begin to emphasize how wonderful of an event this is, everyone is encouraged to attend, as it will be an unforgettable evening.  Joni was without question one of the most genuine and incredible people that I ever came across, and I was fortunate to call her my friend.  With this tremendous event, her memory will live on forever; she certainly deserves that.  SWJ! (Soar with Joni)