Give Blood Play Hockey adds to plan of attack
By Phillip Brents
The Give Blood Play Hockey (GBPH) inline charity hockey tournament remains a major fundraiser for its primary beneficiary – Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) – in its mission to find a cure for pediatric cancer.
The tournament has become a rallying point for the entire hockey community throughout Southern California – and it’s also a lot of fun.
The eighth annual event will take place Oct. 23-26 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline. Tournament founder Mary Quayle said organizers are expecting a sell-out again this year of 102 teams. A new 40-plus division is planned.
Quayle noted the annual blood drive remains the No. 1 attraction at the event. The goal is to surpass the 2013 count of 304 pints of donated blood, she said.
Blood donations, which began on Oct. 15 at the Pacific Premier Bank in Irvine, continue from Oct. 24-26 at the tournament site, GiveBloodPlayHockey.org.
Niko Greco, a young hockey fan who was diagnosed with leukemia in January, will have one of the facility’s rinks renamed in his honor during the tournament in an effort to personalize his fight against cancer.
Greco, who was 5 when he received his diagnosis, is expected to be a CHOC Children’s outpatient for at least the next three years.
New Initiatives for 2014 include Chalk for CHOC, Can Cancer and Recycle for Research endeavors.
Guests may show support for their personal “Who Do You Play For?” selection by buying a square and decorating it at the Chalk for CHOC board.
Meanwhile, loose coins lying around the house, in clothes pockets and in automobile cup holders can be collected throughout the year and donated with the new Give Blood Play Hockey cans to “can cancer.”
Similarly, while recycling at home, aluminum cans may be turned into cash as Give Blood Play Hockey raises money for research and development.
“Recycled cans can find cures through research,” Quayle said.