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Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Canadian Blood Services Score a Hat Trick With the Big Save Blood Donor Clinics

For the third year in a row, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) and Canadian Blood Services played host to the largest single-day, indoor blood donor clinic in Toronto - the Big Save, this past Monday at Air Canada Centre. This year marked the first time the clinic expanded beyond Air Canada Centre as it was joined by sites in Oshawa and Barrie. In total, the three sites collected 484 units of blood and the three-year total for the Big Save stands at nearly 1,500 units.

First through the door and to roll up his sleeves to donate was Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager, Brian Burke. An advocate for the importance of donating, Burke demonstrated that not only is blood donation painless and simple, but something that should become habitual. A consistent blood donor since his teens, Burke encourages all who are able to not just donate once, but regularly.

Burke was also joined by many other MLSE alumni, players and personalities, including; Toronto FC’s Doneil Henry, Matt Stinson and Reggie Lambe, Toronto Maple Leafs and Marlies’ Mike Zigomanis, Nazem Kadri and Jesse Blacker, Maple Leafs’ alumni Ron Ellis and Brad May, the Raptors Dance Pak, The Raptor, Duke the Dog and Carlton the Bear. All were on hand to meet with donors, thank them for their support and to encourage them to come back next year.

Fans and donors at the Oshawa expansion site had the chance to meet with Toronto FC’s Stefan Frei, while Toronto Maple Leafs’ icon Wendel Clark was at the Barrie site.

This year’s Big Save certainly scored big in the eyes of those who need blood, 5-year old Lily Palmer is one of those recipients. Diagnosed with Hereditary Spherocytosis, Lily and her parents, Michelle and Troy, were also present to show their gratitude to the many donors and volunteers. To learn more about Lily’s story visit

In Toronto, the need for blood greatly surpasses the amount donated. As Canada’s largest city, it must import 50,000 units of blood yearly to keep up with patient’s needs. Although the Big Save aids in relieving this gap, a one-time event is solely not enough.

Fans and Torontonians who were unable to donate blood at the Big Save are encouraged to do so at any time at a blood donor clinic in their area. To register call 1.888.2.DONATE or visit

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Contact Info

Media Contacts:

Jamie Deans
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
(416) 815-5445

Rajani Kamath
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
(416) 815-5790


About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit our Web site at