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New York hockey teams join forces to donate blood

The Utica Comets, Syracuse Crunch, Rochester Americans and Binghamton Devils come together to hold blood drives in their communities and assist state hospitals.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 10:56 PM

Utica, NY - The suspensions of the AHL and the MASL seasons and cancellation of collegiate hockey playoffs, has halted traffic coming into the Adirondack Bank Center, until today. For the first time in about a month, fans are walking back into the arena but it's not to watch a game, it's to give back.

“It's so great to be back in the building. Our season ticket seats are straight above so to be able to look at the seats and to be in the building is always great,” says Pamela Maring, a Comets season ticket holder.

The four New York state American Hockey League teams: the Binghamton Devils, Rochester Americans, the Syracuse Crunch and the Utica Comets have joined forces as part of the New York Hockey Gives Blood Initiative.

In a partnership with the American Red Cross, each team has set up a blood drive in their city where players, coaches, fans and anyone can donate blood to help the state maintain its blood supply for hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Comets’ President Robert Esche, head coach Trent Cull and Utica College Men’s Hockey head coach, Gary Heenan were among those who donated.

Last month, the Utica Comets created "Puck the Virus" t-shirts to fundraise for their part-time employees who were financially affected by the suspension of the season. David Beauharnois who donated blood is one of them.

“It's great,” says Beauharnois, “We're not owned by this massive organization so it's great that they're doing something to help make sure people are still getting paid. I was just talking how it's kind of sad that we're missing out on these games. I keep getting the calendar alerts on my phone.”

While the coronavirus has forced some blood drives to be cancelled, the New York Hockey Gives Blood Initiative also keeps people employed and active like Andy Meacham, a volunteer truck driver for the Red Cross.

“My job is I pick up the blood at blood drives throughout Central New York and I take all the blood out to the process center in West Henrietta. I normally volunteer about 3 to 4 days a week so some weeks (because of coronavirus) I only work one day," says Meacham. 

As part of the experience, Utica area residents who donated also received a Comets pin as a thank you for their contribution.
Visit redcrossblood.org if you missed today’s drive and would like to donate.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 448052

Reported Deaths: 33085
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens714747239
Kings667377314
Bronx524684940
Nassau460522201
Suffolk459562011
Westchester377181454
New York329383178
Richmond156891085
Rockland14747675
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Monroe5857289
Dutchess5050153
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Albany2979134
Oneida2369123
Ulster223595
Niagara1707101
Putnam156963
Sullivan156848
Broome145069
Schenectady137448
Saratoga98517
Rensselaer89542
Columbia58037
Chautauqua5359
Madison48417
Ontario45435
Oswego4183
Tompkins3900
Warren35433
Steuben34242
Fulton33124
Otsego3245
Orleans32254
Greene31918
Herkimer31810
St. Lawrence3144
Genesee3095
Wayne3065
Chemung3053
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2496
Chenango2487
Tioga22225
Montgomery2194
Livingston2018
Cayuga1952
Jefferson1600
Essex1570
Clinton1545
Cortland1500
Wyoming1315
Delaware1294
Seneca1053
Allegany951
Schoharie830
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