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New York teams join forces for blood drive

The AHL’s four New York-based clubs – the Utica Comets, Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Devils and Rochester Americans – have announced that they have joined forces as part of the New York Hockey Gives Blood initiative, which will take place on Friday, April 17, from noon to 6 p.m. ET.

The teams have partnered with the American Red Cross and will convert a location in each of their cities into blood drives. The Comets, Crunch, Devils and Amerks will use their resources to help New York State maintain a healthy blood supply for hospital patients and shed light on one of the ways our communities can help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood drive locations:
Utica – Adirondack Bank Center (400 Oriskany Street West)
Syracuse – Upstate Medical University Arena (515 Montgomery Street)
Binghamton – Christ Episcopal Church (10 Henry Street)
Rochester – Kodak Center Gymnasium (200 West Ridge Road)

“We’re honored to use our combined resources and collaborative efforts to play a small part during these trying times,” said Comets president Robert Esche. “But more importantly, it is our goal that similar venues can make use of their resources in similar fashions. AHL venues exist as the ideal spaces that can adhere to the challenges that come with social distancing.”

“We greatly appreciate the partnerships we have formed with the teams in Utica, Binghamton and Rochester in addition to the support from Onondaga County and ASM Global, the managers of the Upstate Medical University Arena,” said Crunch owner Howard Dolgon. “We hope this initiative inspires everyone who can to please donate blood in this time of great need.”

“We’re honored to team up with the Americans, Crunch, Comets, and American Red Cross to assist during this tough time,” said Devils vice president of business operations Tom Mitchell. “It’s important to come together, not only as fans, but as an entire state to help meet the demand of blood. This is one of the most important and impactful days on our calendar right now, and we look forward to helping make a difference.”

“We’re honored and excited for the opportunity to join the efforts of the other New York AHL teams in bringing this state-wide initiative to Rochester,” said Amerks vice president of business operations Rob Minter. “These are challenging times we’re facing right now in each of our communities and we as an organization are eager to do our part in providing aid and support to those who need it the most during this unprecedented time.”

The Red Cross is grateful to the donors who have already given blood and made upcoming appointments, allowing them to meet immediate patient needs. However, during this uncertain time, eligible donors are encouraged to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and make new blood donation appointments for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic. The American Red Cross is excited to be able to hold events at such large venues during these times of need, especially during an unprecedented period in our society where social distancing is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Healthy individuals wishing to participate can do so by signing up at redcrossblood.org, entering sponsor code “Utica”, “Syracuse”, “Binghamton”, or “Rochester” and choosing a donation time. Individuals can also register via phone at 1-800-RED-CROSS or via the Blood Donor app.