They arrived at HP Pavilion donned in their favorite Sharks jerseys, hats and sweatshirts. Yet despite their teal attire, Sharks fans were not gearing up to cheer on the team as they entered the arena doors on the morning of Saturday, March 2. Instead, they had gathered to demonstrate support for the local community. Nearly 300 individuals dedicated their time to donate blood to the Sharks Foundation’s annual “Save a Life” Blood Drive benefiting Stanford Blood Center.
Over the course of the morning and early afternoon, approximately 261 units of blood were collected, potentially impacting 783 patients. Stanford Blood Center reports that five percent of all hospitalized patients require blood transfusions during their stay. The units of blood collected on Saturday are likely to benefit patients being treated for everything from cancer to organ transplants.
To the delight of participants, Sharks athletes Jason Demers, Tommy Wingels and Matt Irwin made a surprise appearance to personally thank the donors for their involvement. Mascot S.J. Sharkie also served as a welcome distraction, tickling the feet of donating fans, posing with new arrivals and easing the fears of first-time donors.
In addition to meeting these special guests, fans had the opportunity to observe the Sharks morning skate before or after their donation appointments. Each donor was also given a raffle ticket for a chance to win autographed Sharks merchandise and special VIP experiences. The grand prize included a pair of Sharks tickets and a behind-the-scenes tour of HP Pavilion.
Ultimately, this year’s “Save a Life” blood drive gave Sharks fans the opportunity to unite over a love for the Sharks and an interest in bettering the community.
ABOUT THE SHARKS FOUNDATION:
The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth and families in our community with an emphasis in the areas of Education, Health and Safety, and Character Development. During the past two seasons, the Sharks Foundation donated over $1 million in support to local organizations and since its inception in 1994, has given more than $6.2 million. For more information about the Sharks Foundation, visit: SharksFoundation.org. You can also follow the Sharks Foundation on Facebook at Facebook.com/SharksFoundation.
ABOUT THE STANFORD BLOOD CENTER:
Stanford Medical School Blood Center was created within the Department of Pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978. The Blood Center was created to meet the increasingly large and complex transfusion needs of Stanford Hospital and Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and to perform research and teaching. In addition, the Blood Center now serves Palo Alto Medical Foundation Clinic, El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Palo Alto V.A. Hospital, Livermore V.A. Hospital and three free-standing local surgery centers. In order to meet the needs of our community, more than 40,000 whole blood donations are need annually. For more information on the Stanford Blood Center, please visit http://bloodcenter.stanford.edu.