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The gift of life

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – The Bell Centre’s rink was bustling with activity on Thursday for a good cause.

Hundreds of people came out to do their part and donate to the Canadiens-evenko Blood Drive. Traditionally held in la salle des pas perdus in Windsor Station, this year’s edition of the drive made the move inside the Bell Centre and onto the rink floor itself. Folks generous enough to make a donation were even treated to a visit of the Canadiens dressing room.

A number of celebrities and Canadiens alumni were on hand to meet, greet, and encourage the donors on site. Hall-of-Famer Guy Lafleur joined Gilbert Delorme and Pierre Bouchard, in addition to current members of the team’s coaching staff with Michel Therrien, Clement Jodoin, Jean-Jacques Daigneault and Pierre Groulx all making appearances. Habs owner and president Geoff Molson was even on hand to welcome the first arrivals when the doors opened at 9:30 a.m.

“This is a great cause and something we’ve been doing for several years now. I hope a lot of people come down to donate blood today,” expressed Molson who also made use of his time at the team’s 31st annual blood drive to speak with fans and address some of their concerns. “Fans have been telling me that while it’s great to come out and donate blood, they’d rather be up in the stands than down on the ice. I responded by saying that it’s important we all stay positive and believe the situation will be resolved soon.”

Evenko was also well represented at the event, bringing out comedians,Philippe Bond and Etienne Dano to help put a smile on the faces of those in attendance.

The Canadiens’ Blood Drive was initiated by Jean Beliveau and Claude Mouton in 1981. Since 1998, the Montreal Canadiens have organized their drive in collaboration with Héma-Québec, the supplier of blood in the province. According to Hema-Québec, the Canadiens’ Blood Drive is very important since the expected number of donors represents an important part of the daily blood supply in Quebec. It should be known that to meet Quebecers’ needs Héma-Québec must collect a minimum of 1,000 donations per day. Over the past 30 years, the Montreal Canadiens’ Blood Drive has helped save over 100,000 lives.

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