Give Blood Play Hockey not just a numbers game
Give Blood Play Hockey (GBPH) inline charity tournament co-founder Mary Quayle remains “astounded,” in her words, by the numbers generated by the event: $500,000 in funds raised for CHOC Children’s Hospital and 1,673 pints of blood gathered (enough to save 5,000 lives).
“And we have some pretty big numbers to hit this year, too,” Quayle noted.
But she acknowledges the tournament is more than just about the numbers.
“I keep asking myself, ‘How is it possible that a small idea nine years ago turned into this?’” Quayle said in advance of this year’s tournament, which will run from Oct. 22-25 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline.
Quayle remains proud of the tournament – where it’s come from and where it’s going. She remains especially proud of the commitment by the tournament’s small but mighty army of volunteers and directors – the “why” part of what they do – to keep the event rolling.
Quayle underscored that GBPH is for the kids.
“Childhood cancer must go, and we’re the people who are going to make it happen,” she said.
But Quayle admits the numbers don’t always tell the whole story, such as the young girls who host lemonade stands that raise more than $1,000 and the generous people who donate their hair to those who don’t have any.
“It’s the sold out t-shirts, silent auction donations and epic raffle items,” Quayle said. “It’s the referees who work all weekend long, and then donate their paychecks back to the cause.
“It’s about the first-time blood donors who are scared stiff and the blood donors who have given nine years in a row.”
“It’s all about the bands that play, the trucks that feed and the sponsors that contribute,” Quayle enumerated. “It’s the face-painters, the cakewalkers, award-winners and hashtaggers.
“It’s where we can wear funny costumes, dance with no music, hug, laugh, smile and cry.”
It’s about the numbers – and the people.
For more information on this year’s GBPH tournament, visit GiveBloodPlayHockey.org.
– Phillip Brents