Loyalty of fans, dedicated staff drive annual Give Blood Play Hockey tournament
While the Give Blood Play Hockey charity inline hockey tournament has dedicated itself to raise funds to fight pediatric cancer, the tournament has built its reputation on the efforts of dedicated staff.
This year’s 12th annual tournament, scheduled for Oct. 18-21 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline, is poised to reach the $1 million mark in ongoing donations.
Tournament co-founder Mary Korus specifically offers praise to the loyalty that fans, players and supporters have for the event that has made it a community celebration.
Grayson Yada, who won a gold medal with the United States national junior men’s team at July’s International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) inline hockey world championships in Italy, serves as a student chair.
He sums up the event as “one of the most fun tournaments every year, all for such an important cause.”
“Give Blood Play Hockey means a lot to me,” Yada explained. “They made me feel so welcome when I joined the team last year. In every meeting, everyone is so excited to make the event fun for the players and to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. It is really inspiring that such a great community has come together because of their genuine love for others and hockey.
“Everyone involved in this organization is an amazing thoughtful person and has shown me the true meaning of giving back. I really look forward to the future of Give Blood Play Hockey because I know their impact grows bigger and bigger every year.”
Brian Wong has been volunteering at the GBPH tournament for six years; he has chaired the blood drive for three years.
“The blood drive is truly the heart of the entire event,” Wong said. “GBPH is the most spirited, compassionate group of people who have taught me the value of giving and helping others. I feel so fortunate to be part of such a great organization. I see myself being part of GBPH throughout my life.”
— Phillip Brents
(Oct. 18, 2018)