The Arizona Coyotes and Gila River Arena announced that the team has partnered with Vitalant and Streets of New York to host a community blood drive on from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. May 27 and 28.
To ensure that social distancing is in place, donors are recommended to make an appointment at vitalant.org/Coyotes prior to the event date and will be required to bring and wear a mask, according to a release.
Donors will enter Gila River Arena at the far east door of Gate 4. Parking will be available in Lot G on the east side of the arena.
Coyotes President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka will be kicking off the event with a blood donation at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 27. Head Coach Rick Tocchet, forward Brad Richardson and defenseman Jason Demers will also be donating blood that morning from 8-8:30 a.m.
Due to safety measures implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of blood drives across Arizona have been cancelled over the past two months, according to the release.
“Patient blood needs have substantially increased now that elective surgeries are resuming across our state, stated Sid Lewis, Sr. Director of Donor Recruitment for Vitalant’s Southwest Division. “Every day, patients continue to depend on blood transfusions for surgery, transplants, cancer treatment and ongoing medical needs.”
Vitalant is Arizona’s largest non-profit community provider responsible for fulfilling 100% of Maricopa County and 90% of statewide blood needs, the release states.
Blood donations are expected to decline by as much as 25% during the Memorial Day holiday week, according to the release. While donors of all blood types are needed, O-negative is always in greatest demand.
Donors at the Arizona Coyotes Gila River Arena blood drive will help children like 5-year-old Nathan, who is alive today because of more than 80 blood donors. Nathan was born with a rare disorder that causes his red blood cells to rapidly break apart, the release states. Every three weeks, he relies on the generosity of strangers to donate lifesaving blood – a need that will most likely continue the rest of his life.
In appreciation for helping during this crucial time for patients, the blood drive sponsors are expressing their gratitude with the following thank you gifts for donors:
• One (1) complimentary ticket, subject to a $5 facility fee, for a designated 2020-21 Coyotes home game once the schedule is released
• Voucher for a slice of cheese pizza and a Pepsi, courtesy of Streets of New York
• Entered into a raffle for a 2019-20 Coyotes team signed stick