Blood and Hockey: Not What You Might Think

Submitted by Staff Reporter on 02/14/2017 - 17:34.

The Blood Bank of Alaska is holding its annual blood drive in conjunction with Hockey Week.

The blood drive started when President of the Fairbanks Hockey Hall of Fame, Randy Zarnke, wanted to shine a positive light on the sport.

The phrase "give blood, play hockey" was used to show the brutality of the sport, but Zarnke wanted to change that.

Now the expression is used for the blood drive, which helps the community.

People who donate blood during the week, and mention that they are donating for hockey week, will receive a complimentary t-shirt, North Pole Coffee Roasting Company sampler, and chocolate covered espresso beans.

Residents are encouraged to make appointments if they would like to donate blood.

Organizers of the drive say the Blood Bank in Fairbanks helps the community in more than one way.

Zarnke told us "There are people who are in accidents or have illnesses and injuries or whatever, that are going to need blood at some point -- and tomorrow it might be me. So we all want to be contributing and helping out the whole community. We're really expecting this to really grow over the next few years."

Blood Drive Coordinator, Rachel Hanks, added "What's nice about the employees here is they're so good with you. If you're scared to look at the needle, you can tell them 'just talk to me, don't even tell me that you're going to poke me with the needle'. That helps. Or they can cover your arm so you can't even see the needle. They're very accommodating here -- whether you're very comfortable donating blood, or if it's a scary experience. They're very good."