GOOD CAUSE - Nelson Lacourse

The battle continues between Rebels and Hurricanes

  • Feb. 20, 2013 4:08 p.m.

The race that started at the beginning of the month is still on for the ‘Hockey – It’s In Our Blood’ challenge between the Red Deer Rebels and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The teams are half way through this WHL ‘blood battle’ and the Hurricanes have managed to take the lead with 93 blood donations while the Red Deer Rebels trail close behind with 91 blood donations.

“Red Deer was in the lead last week, it’s a really close race so I think that anyone could win in the end,” said Tanya Paul, community development coordinator with Canadian Blood Services in Red Deer.

Both the Rebels and the Canadian Blood Services want to show the Hurricanes which city has the most dedicated fans and are asking Red Deerians to turn up the heat and show support for their home team by donating blood on behalf of the hockey club.

This is the first time that the Western Hockey League rivals have taken the battle from the ice to the blood donor clinic to see who can bring in the most blood donations in the month of February. While this is a competition, the two teams have come together in a partnership with Canadian Blood Services to help ensure local patients from both cities get the blood donations they need. Both teams continue to rally their fans.

Many fans of the Rebels have already come out to make a contribution to this campaign. “It’s a large fan base that is bringing in most of the donations,” said Paul.

A fair amount of these donors are first time donors and that is one of the aims of this campaign. Only about 3.5% of eligible Canadians donate blood which makes recruiting new donors important.

“We are trying to get a new audience to come in and try donating for the first time,” said Paul.

New donors are always in demand. According to Canadian Blood Services despite growing population the number of active donors in Alberta has only increased by 1% over the past 10 years.

To entice more people from the Red Deer area to participate, those attending the Red Deer clinic in February can enter to win a Rebels Prize Pack consisting of an autographed 2012-13 Rebels jersey, four-pack of tickets to an upcoming home game, and Rebels and Canadian Blood Services swag.

According to Canadian Blood Services, every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood. During the month of February Canadian Services in Red Deer must collect 895 blood donations in order to ensure that local hospital patients receive the blood they need. The Red Deer Regional Hospital uses up to 130 units of blood every week to help cancer patients, trauma victims and many others who need a second chance at life.

For more information or to book an appointment to donate blood call

1-888-236-6283 or visit www.blood.ca.

treid@reddeerexpress.com

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