Kelowna’s mayor has made a impassioned plea for Kelowna residents to participate in the annual blood donation challenge against Prince George.
The 15th annual Interior Drive for Life runs until Oct. 18, with the city collecting the greatest number of blood donations declared the winner.
Mayor Walter Gray said the reward for the winner is having the mayor of the losing city wear the winning city’s WHL hockey team jersey at a council meeting.
“And I can tell you from experience that their jersey is scratchy,” Gray said during this week’s council meeting.
But turning serious, he said it’s important that as much blood as possible be donated in both cities over the next five weeks.
“This is the gift of life,” said Gray. “Donating blood will keep someone having a medical procedure alive or save their lives in an emergency.
Canadian Blood Services has challenged itself to find Kelowna residents who are not regular blood donors.
“This year, Canadian Blood Services must recruit 1,119 new donors in Kelowna—and 14,409 across B.C.—to help keep the blood system strong and sustainable,” said Erin Kavanagh of Canadian Blood Services in Kelowna.
The Canadian Blood Services office is located 103-1865 Dilworth Drive, across from Orchard Park Shopping Centre. Clinic hours in Kelowna are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on alternating Saturday. The next Saturday clinic will be held Sept. 22.
“I’m urging everyone to plan some time to make that donation, especially if you’ve never before donated,” said Gray. “It doesn’t take a lot of time, and the pay-off is literally life-changing for those who receive your gift of life.”
Donors can book an appointment by calling 1-888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or online at www.blood.ca.