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Sharks Fans Are Saving Lives

Over 300 Sharks Fans Participated In Foundation's Blood Drive

Wednesday, 02.23.2011 / 4:40 PM / Sharks Foundation
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Sharks Fans Are Saving Lives
Sharks left wing Ryane Clowe poses with a Sharks fan while he donates blood at the Sharks Foundation's 'Save A Life' Blood Drive at HP Pavilion.

On a nightly basis, members of the San Jose Sharks sacrifice their bodies, many times shedding blood for their teammates in an all out effort for the win. On February 19, fans were able to show that they could do the very same for a great cause.

In the fifth annual ‘Save A Live’ Blood Drive hosted by the Sharks Foundation and the Stanford Blood Center, members of the community poured through HP Pavilion on Saturday morning, donating blood and registering to be bone marrow and organ donors. In all 303 total red cells were collected and 57 new donors registered with the National Marrow Donor Program. Also, Donate Life California received 31 donor registrations.

“It was really great to have such a large drive with the San Jose Sharks and the Sharks Foundation over the holiday weekend,” said Elisa Manzanares, Acccount Manager for Stanford Blood Center. “Normally our blood supply would have dipped down as donors headed out of town for the weekend, but this was a huge draw for Sharks fans and members of the community.”

After their morning skate, Sharks players Ryane Clowe, Jamal Mayers, Douglas Murray, Scott Nichol and Niclas Wallin visited fans while they donated blood. 
According to the Stanford Blood Center, every two seconds; someone in America is in need of blood. Also, each year there are thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases who need a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant in order to survive.

Between the Stanford Blood Center, Be The Match Registry, Donate Life California, and the Sharks Foundation, many of those individuals with life threatening issues will be given much-needed support.

To give some perspective on the impact the single day blood drive will have on the community, 303 units of blood has the potential to impact 909 patients in the local community. Clearly a need is present in the San Jose community and the Sharks involvement hopefully opens up the cause to a new demographic. This year, 93 of the 332 total people who showed up to donate blood, were attempting to donate for the first time.

“It is great when a local sports team as popular as our San Jose Sharks takes on making a life saving difference for the patients in our local hospitals,” said Manzanares. It is the largest blood drive we conduct each year. It helps to create awareness and buzz locally about the importance of blood donation.”

As if there needed to be an added incentive to helping out for such a great cause, those who showed up to register and donate early, were treated to an exclusive viewing of the Sharks pre-game skate for the morning. And in a surprise visit, some Sharks players snuck upstairs after their practice to personally thank those who were on hand to donate their time and blood. It may seem more than just a coincidence that the list of players who visited included those who may very well lead the team in donated blood on the ice this season. Ryane Clowe, Jamal Mayers, Douglas Murray, Scott Nichol, and Niclas Wallin spared some of their precious game-day time to show their appreciation.

S.J. Sharkie attempts to give blood at the Sharks Foundation's 'Save A Life' Blood Drive on February 19, 2001.
“Our guys have a busy schedule during the season and none busier than on a game-day,” said Sharks Foundation Manager Jeff Cafuir. “But what’s great about this team and organization is that everybody buys in to the team goal. That philosophy doesn’t stop when the players step off the ice either. They are all aware of what type of work the Sharks Foundation does in the community and continually sacrifice their free time to show their appreciation.”

Of course, with all of that blood being donated, S.J. Sharkie was not far away. Thankfully, though, his reasons for being there was to show his appreciation and lend a helpful fin in support of those giving blood.

Perhaps a bit inspired, Sharkie also braved the waters and donated blood of his own. Although we are still waiting to hear from Stanford Blood Center on whether or not there is a need for ‘Teal’ blood now or in the future.

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. The Sharks Foundation supplies emergency aid when appropriate, executes unique and relevant programming, supports the advancement of youth hockey and provides financial support and resources to organizations that enrich the lives of those in need. Although the San Jose Sharks and the Sharks Foundation support a variety of community programs on various levels, we feel that the key to the long-term well-being of our community is our youth.

The San Jose Sharks are as deeply involved with the neighborhood we live in as we are with the game that we play. As role models, we feel responsible to give back to the community that so strongly supports us. To this end, the Sharks Foundation was created in 1994 in an effort to increase our organizational impact on Santa Clara County. With the help of Sharks players, coaches and staff, the Sharks Foundation invests in the community with the hope of enhancing the lives of our youth. It quickly evolved and expanded beyond its original charter and has since donated over $5.2 million to more than 109 local beneficiaries. During the 2010-11 season, its contribution to local youth programs and organizations totaled $272,121 through monetary grants. In addition to the original grant program, the Sharks Foundation manages educational programs, hosts major fundraisers, executes pledge programs and implements community outreach events.

For more information, visit: http://www.thesharksfoundation.org/

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.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MARROW DONOR PROGRAM
The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and our Be The Match FoundationSM are nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need, when they need it. Every year, thousands of people of all ages are diagnosed with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases. Many of them will die unless they get a bone marrow or cord blood transplant from a matching donor. Seventy percent of people do not have a donor in their family and depend on our Be The Match RegistrySM to find a match to save their life. Since 1987, we have arranged for more than 33,000 transplants to give patients a second chance at life. Today, we facilitate more than 4,300 transplants a year. For more information, please visit www.bethematch.org.

ABOUT DONATE LIFE CALIFORNIA

With a click or a signature when getting a license or ID card or renewing it at the DMV, you can change lives forever. Registering on the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Registry is secure, confidential and allows you to become a giver of life. Your medical care and/or funeral arrangements will not be affected by your decision to donate. About a third of the 21,000 Californians waiting for organs will die
waiting - because there was no organ available. Only a sticker on the driver's license means only you intended to donate but registering makes it a legal directive. A single donation decision can mean eight people receive life-saving organs, and 50 more receive life-healing tissues. Sign up today at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org.


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