Devils, American Red Cross Host Blood Drive

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Before the puck drops on Friday, December 30, 2011 the Albany Devils Hockey Club and the American Red Cross are teaming up for a blood drive at the Times Union Center from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Donating blood is a simple act that helps save lives. Blood is an essential component for patient care in area hospitals, and the only source of blood is a healthy, volunteer blood donor. Due to hectic holiday schedules, busy travel plans and inclement weather in the Northeast, blood donations can decline during this time of year. However, it is the perfect time of year to show your support and give back to the community.

The Red Cross blood drive will take place in the Times Union Center Exhibition Hall prior to the game. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting redcrossblood.org. As a special thank you for helping their neighbors, every person who comes in to donate blood will receive a voucher good for one ticket to a future Albany Devils home game. In addition, all presenting donors will receive a special “Give Life. Give Blood.” t-shirt.

TEDDY BEAR TOSS

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The Albany Devils will host a “Teddy Bear Toss” during their Sunday, Dec. 4 game against the Rochester Americans at the Times Union Center. Donations from the event will go to the Albany Boys and Girls Club and the Albany Police Athletic League (P.A.L.).

Fans are encouraged to bring new or slightly used Teddy Bears or stuffed animals to the game. During the first intermission an announcement will be made and fans can throw the stuffed animals onto the ice. They will be collected and distributed to the two organizations.

Tickets for the 4 p.m. contest can be purchased at the Times Union Center box office or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Fans can also buy tickets via charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting ticketmaster.com.

Veterans Day Special

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The Albany Devils will offer a “Veterans Day Special” during their game against the Norfolk Admirals at the Times Union Center on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. By showing proper identification, all current and former military members can purchase a ticket for $11.

Tickets will be available for purchase Friday beginning at 10 a.m. at the Times Union Center box office located at the corner of South Pearl and Market St.

Ronald McDonald House Dinner

Albany Devils executive staff joined fellow employees of the Times Union Center on Wednesday, Aug 30 as the Employee Relations Committee were a meal partner for the Ronald McDonald House. Staff members took their list to the grocery store and stacked up on all ingredients for the macaroni and cheese dinner that others then cooked up later in the day at the house.

The Ronald McDonald House acts as a “home away from home” for families with children currently in hospitals. Since its opening in 1982, the 16-bedroom house in Albany has welcomed over 15,000 families, breaking down to roughly 500 families a year. All services of the house, including a shuttle to and from the hospital to go along with the room and board they receive, are at no cost to the family.

“The real magic of the house is how the community comes together to support them. These families not our neighbors per say, but it is our neighbors who come out to support them through our dinner programs, volunteering time, and service groups that keeps our doors open,” explained Jeff Yule, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House in Albany.

With a dozen regular meal partners that do a dinner each month and approximately one hundred others filling in the rest of the dates, the house has had a dinner cooked for them every night for the last three years. Currently, the dinner program is full and the Ronald McDonald House is expanding to allow groups to come in to cook brunches on weekends; as well as breakfast and lunch on weekdays.

The Albany Devils join the Employee Relations Committee of the Times Union Center for its second cooking for the dinner program. Group Sales at the TUC, Maggie Zmuda, explained that the committee acts as a way to bring together employees of all businesses housed in the arena to combine efforts in extending helping hands to those in the Capital Region.  

Also on the agenda for the committee is a staff bake sale, with all proceeds going towards Maggie and Erin Ragazza, as they hope to repel off the Crowne Plaza Hotel with the Special Olympics “Over the Edge” event being held in September. Erin Ragazza is the Director of Marketing of the Times Union Center.

Fans looking to support the Ronald McDonald House, or interested in becoming a meal partner, are encouraged to visit their website, rmhcofalbany.org.

Albany Devils employees lent a helping hand include Jenna Feldman (Community Relations Coordinator) and Kristen Gore (Operations Manager). Times Union Center employees included Ryan Mance (Box Office Manager), Erin McCartan (Group Sales Intern), Peggy Rowe (Secretary of Executive Cleaning) and Maggie Zmuda.