By John Lynds
The Boston Bruins, Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association and the American Red Cross will join forces to hold a special blood drive at the TD Garden on Tuesday, December 13 in honor of the two East Boston Police Officers wounded in a gun battle in October.
Officers Richard Cintolo and Matt Morris will be honorees at the event that kicks off at 10 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. The blood drive will also honor all of Boston’s First Responders for their bravery.
First responders, Bruins alumni and blood recipients will attend to highlight the constant need for blood, especially during the holiday season when donations often decline.
“The Boston Bruins are honored to host the blood drive in partnership with the Red Cross and first responders,” said Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation. “It is important to the Bruins organization to assist in facilitating lifesaving blood donations for those in need.”
This drive is supported each year by the Boston Bruins Foundation, Garden Neighborhood Charities, Boston Firefighters Local 718, Boston EMS and the Massachusetts Coalition of Police as a way to give back while honoring local first responders.
“The Red Cross is proud to host this community blood drive in honor of Boston Police Officer Matthew Morris and Officer Richard Cintolo who were shot in the line of duty and needed blood to survive,” said Donna Morrissey, director of National Partnerships for the Red Cross. “The Red Cross is grateful for the support of the Boston Bruins, Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, Bruins Foundation, Garden Neighborhood Charities and local first responders to help ensure patients continue to receive critical treatment over the holidays.”
Cintolo and Morris were seriously wounded during a shootout with a suspect that opened fire on the two officers on Gladstone Street.
While Cintolo was shot in the neck, arm and chest, Morris lost nearly all of his blood after he received a gunshot to his leg that severed his femoral artery. After the incident hundreds of Boston residents lined up outside blood banks to donate blood to the wounded officers as new spread of their traumatic injuries.
Both Cintolo and Morris are on their way to making full recoveries and were recently honored by the Boston Police and Bruins during a charity hockey game between the Policeman’s Association and the Bruins Alumni team.
The event helped raise money for Cintolo and Morris’s recovery.
“First responders understand the importance of donated blood in an emergency situation. In October, two Boston Police officers were shot in the line of duty and required blood transfusions to help them survive.,” said Morrissey. “This drive recognizes their bravery.”
Morrissey added that busy holiday schedules can make it more challenging for donors to give, but hospital patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood.
“First responders put their lives on the line each and every day and we are honored they have chosen to help spread the message that blood donations can make a difference, especially in trauma situations,” said Morrissey.
All those who come out to donate will receive a free t-shirt, a chance to win Bruins tickets and memorabilia and a meet and greet with Bruins alumni and Bruins mascot, Blades.