Local resident Jim Thiessen was honoured recently for his support for Canadian Blood Services.
Thiessen took part in the Hockey Gives Blood initiative started in the wake of the Humboldt tragedy. The non-profit organization creates awareness among hockey communities on the importance of giving blood.
Winkler Flyers Director of Sales and Marketing Matt Friesen explains partnering with the organization was an easy decision. "When we were asked if they could honour Jim at our game for his donation record we felt it was a great opportunity to show the community what he has actually done."
Thiessen recently made his 188th blood donation and says he started giving blood 57 years ago. "My mother convinced me it would be a good idea, and I've been going ever since."
He recalls his time with the blood bank and being called to the hospital for emergency blood donations, "I remember one night there was a whole bunch of us called in, and apparently we had saved two lives that night."
"That makes you go back to give blood when you hear that."
He estimates since starting at 18 years old he's donated gallons of blood.
"As long as I can I'll keep giving," Thiessen says. "And you get it back in 48 hours so what's the big deal?"