Canadian Blood Services staff and volunteers on the floor with the Raptor; blood recipient Lily Palmer.

Across Canada

Michelle Palmer couldn’t be more thankful for the blood system we have in Canada. Her husband Troy and daughter Lily are here today thanks in part to the generosity of blood donors. And to help promote the cause, Lily became the “face” for the third annual Big Save blood donor event, a partnership between Canadian Blood Services and Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment.

The Big Save is the single largest blood donor event in Ontario. In its first year in 2010, the clinic collected 418 units of blood. Last year, we collected 573 units of blood, a tally which made history as the most units of blood collected at a single clinic in Canadian Blood Services history. This year we expanded to include clinics and residents of Barrie and Oshawa and scored an impressive 484 units of blood which greatly contributed to meeting patient demand during the challenging summer season.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished as an organization with the Big Save blood donor clinics,” says Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “I learned at an early age the importance of giving blood. I’ve been donating since I was in my teens – it is quick, easy and incredibly important.”

“This partnership with MLSE has been extremely beneficial for Canadian Blood Services,” says Charmaine Lodge, director of Donor & Clinic Services for Central Ontario. “With their support, we’ve been able to call upon fan loyalty for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC and raise awareness about blood donation to a large community of potential donors. The Maple Leafs, in particular, are noted nationally for having some of the most devoted fans in the National Hockey League. We encouraged sports fans to express their team loyalty by giving blood at The Big Save and fans have come out and answered that call.”

The Big Save is a partnership that Canadian Blood Services and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will continue to develop and strengthen in the years ahead, all with the goal of helping save lives.