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Sharks Host Successful Blood Drive

by Cecile Nguyen / San Jose Sharks
Sharks Devin Setoguchi (left) and Marcel Goc (right) mingles with Sharks blood donor
To view additional photo from the event click here.

Defenseman Rob Blake may be donating blood, sweat and tears in an effort to bring the Stanley Cup to San Jose, but Blake asks Sharks fans to only donate their blood to the Stanford Blood Center.

Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. To help chip away at that need, the Sharks Foundation and Stanford Blood Center teamed up to host a blood drive on Jan. 29 at HP Pavilion at San Jose.

"It's great whenever the Sharks are involved in the community," Blake said. "The need of donated blood has increased over the past years. I should probably be donating blood too, but it's a game day."

Blood donated today will be used at facilities throughout Santa Clara County and each donation has the potential to save multiple lives.

"This drive is the most successful drive of the year," Stanford Medical Center representative Raul Ruiz said. "We have well over 300 appointments and were trying to break the record, which I know we will. Our record is 225 and well probably get 250 today."

The record was established at last year's blood drive, Ruiz said.

Fans who pre-scheduled an appointment to donate blood had the opportunity to watch the San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes morning skates before tonight's game at 7:30. Every fan who donated blood was also entered for a chance to win a Zamboni Ride and four tickets to a future Sharks home game.

"The Sharks and the prizes are the incentive for going," donor Victor Gomez said. "Since I started attending Sharks games six or seven years ago, the only thing I've never done is the Zamboni ride. I won an autographed puck last year, but when I saw the prize was a Zamboni ride, I made sure that I got out here today."

Blake, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Milan Michalek, Captain Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi, Jonathan Cheechoo, Torrey Mitchell and many other players came out to the donation area following their morning skate to personally thank fans for their donation.

"The Sharks being involved definitely help raised awareness," first-time donor Sarah Steiner said. "Before, I didn't know where to go. I wanted to donate blood for a long time and having it hosted by the Sharks and having a chance to talk with players gave me the extra push to come."

"Sharkie gave me a kiss on the forehead. That made my day," Steiner added about her visit with the team mascot.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate at other blood drives, please call 650-723-7819 or click here to be directed to the Stanford Blood Center website.

To see an updated inventory of the most blood types needed click here.

To give blood, you must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and have eaten prior to donating. From start to finish, giving blood consists of four easy steps: registration, brief medical history, actual donation, rest and refreshments. The entire process last about an hour.

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 Childrens 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.

So dont wait to donate. The life you save could be that of someone you know!

Matthew Cucuzza contributed to this report.
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