ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — “Hammy,” the mascot for the Rockford IceHogs hockey team, donated blood today for the Rock River Blood Center’s “Out for Blood” campaign.

The RRVBC partnered with the IceHogs to offer t-shirts, swag bags, and game tickets to donors who came in Friday.

The organizations have partnered for blood drives since 2018.

The blood center said last Friday’s collapse of the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, which injured scores of concertgoers, highlights the importance of giving blood.

“With the Apollo collapse in Belvidere, 28 people were injured. They were sent to local hospitals. It was the blood on the shelf from donors that came out, that we were able to have blood ready and help save lives,” said RRVBC donor recruiter, Rob Bland.

“There’s lots of reasons to come out, mostly, hopefully, to save lives. But, yes, if we can get people out with the IceHogs and other organizations we work with, it’s great. We just love getting people out here to help others in the community,” he continued.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center will have been in service 75 years this year and has a goal to recruit 7,000 new donors.

Rockford IceHogs are an American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Chicago Blackhawks.