Brandon, MB. – The Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, in association with The Co-operators are pleased to announce a partnership with Hockey Gives Blood in an effort to support Canadian Blood Services and western Manitobans in need of blood.

In addition to hosting a community blood donation event in January, The Co-operators will host a special blood donation information and awareness night on December 30th at Westoba Place when the Wheat Kings play host to the visiting Regina Pats.

“The need for blood is constant and the Wheat Kings want to do our part by providing our fans with more information on how they can save a life and help to fulfill a real need in western Manitoba,” says Rick Dillabough, Brandon Wheat Kings Director of Business Operations and Sponsorship. “Having The Cooperators partner with us on such a worthwhile campaign this season is something that we’ve been looking at since coming into contact with Hockey Gives Blood last year.”

Hockey Gives Blood is a non profit society that has partnered with Canadian Blood Services in an effort to engage and educate the hockey community about the importance of blood and stem cell donation. The inspiration for this group came from two separate events. First, the death of Tom Middleton (father of Stu Middleton, co-founder) and the second being the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy.

Stu’s father was killed on the Trans Canad Highway while en route to one of his junior games in 2000. His teammates and local hockey community helped him through that difficult time just as Canadians witnessed the hockey community rallying to help those affected by the accident in Humboldt.

In the wake of last year’s tragedy, Hockey Gives Blood set out to build something that is positive, is long lasting, and is a tool for the hockey community to make a positive impact. The team is comprised of former players, including former Wheat King goalkeeper Kurt Jory (pictured above), who believe Hockey Gives Blood has the potential to be a leader in sport benevolence.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be teaming up with the Wheat Kings,” says Jory. “Their desire to support initiatives like Hockey Gives Blood speaks volumes about the organization’s leadership in the local community.”

 Having the opportunity to work with the hockey community was an easy decision to make for Drew and Ashley Collins of The Co-operators, “the need for blood is constant, so we jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Wheat Kings and Hockey Gives Blood to amplify this message in our community.  The hockey world is full of caring and compassionate people, who we have no doubt will be very supportive of this initiative.”

In addition to helping present the January 9th blood donor centre in Brandon, The Co-operators has donated a block of tickets to be given to milestone donors throughout the regular season.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Hockey Gives Blood in promoting the importance of blood donation among the hockey community,” says Tracy Smith, donor relations director, Canadian Blood Services Prairie region. “Their assistance in engaging the hockey community is truly appreciated as they are critical to Canada’s Lifeline as blood donors and potential members of our stem cell registry.”

ABOUT HOCKEY GIVES BLOOD: Hockey Gives Blood is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging members of the hockey community to help save lives and ensure that Canadian patients have the blood products they need when they need them. Hockey Gives Blood has partnered with the Canadian Blood Services in an effort to engage and educate the hockey community about the importance of blood and stem cell donation.

ABOUT CANADIAN BLOOD SERVICES: Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization. Regulated by Health Canada as a biologics manufacturer and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health, Canadian Blood Services operates with a national scope, infrastructure and governance that make it unique within Canadian healthcare. In the domain of blood, plasma and stem cells, we provide services for patients on behalf of all provincial and territorial governments except Quebec. The national transplant registry for interprovincial organ sharing and related programs reaches into all provinces and territories, as a biological lifeline for Canadians.

ABOUT THE CO-OPERATORS: The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $46.7 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked as the Corporate Knights’ #1 Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada and listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. For more information, visit


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