Stu Middleton is a co-founder of Hockey Gives Blood. Born and raised in Kamloops, BC Stu grew up in the hockey rink with his father, Tom Middleton. Early in January 2000, Stu was playing with the Revelstoke Grizzlies when his father was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident while travelling to watch him play hockey. Stu was away from home but with his teammates when he learned of accident. Stu has a special appreciation for the power of “team bond” and is forever grateful for it.
In the wake of the Humboldt Bronco tragedy and keeping his father in mind, these events spurred a great desire to do more and help others in need. Hockey Gives Blood was founded on the belief that every team, league and player can make a lasting difference to ensure something good could come from any situation.
Following in his father‘s footsteps, Stu now coach’s his son’s hockey team where he is able to pass on the value of team camaraderie and friendship.
Stu is currently the Vice-President of Middleton Petroleum Services in Kamloops, BC where he resides with his wife Amy, and children Julia, Evangeline, and Tommy.
Tanner Murray is a co-founder of Hockey Gives Blood. Born and raised in Merritt, BC, he was introduced to the game of hockey at a young age. Thanks to the guidance of many dedicated coaches and community volunteers, he learned the value of giving back. Through hockey, Tanner also learned the value of hard work and the importance of leading by example.
Tanner first donated blood with Canadian Blood Services on April 15, 2018. With his hockey students in attendance for support, the donation experience became even more meaningful. He could see that his students were inspired to be future blood donators.
As a new advocate for blood donation, it is Tanner’s hope that Hockey Gives Blood can facilitate opportunities for hockey programs and hockey enthusiasts to give blood in the most convenient of ways. With increased awareness and access, Canada’s passionate hockey population has the potential to end blood shortages in our great country for many years to come.
Tanner currently lives in Burnaby with his wife Sarah and son Nash. He is currently a secondary school teacher and hockey program coordinator in Surrey, BC.
Luke Pierce is proud to be a part of Hockey Gives Blood. Born and raised in Merritt, BC, he played Junior Hockey with the Revelstoke Grizzlies, Merritt Centennials and Vernon Vipers. Luke’s playing career continued at the Royal Military College of Canada where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology & Leadership) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Soon after leaving University Luke began his coaching career back in his hometown with the Merritt Centennials. He served as Head Coach and General Manager for 6 years before leaving to become the Head Coach of the Kootenay Ice in the Western Hockey League. Following a two year stint in Kootenay Luke joined Canada’s National Para (Sledge) Hockey team as an Assistant Coach during for the 2017-18 season, receiving a Silver Medal at the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeonChang, South Korea.
This most recent role with Canada’s Para Hockey athletes awakened Luke’s inner desire to have a larger impact in promoting the positive impact that hockey can have on daily life. As a fan, player, parent, and coach, Luke has witnessed the unique bonds that are created in the beautiful game and believes that the Hockey Community can share that with the world through Hockey Gives Blood.
Luke currently resides in Edmonton, AB with his wife and sons; William, Bennett and Austin. Luke is currently an Assistant Coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings
Kurt Jory has been a blood donor advocate for years and is the newest addition to our team at Hockey Gives Blood. Kurt experienced a traumatic injury while playing university hockey in Ontario that brought him within inches of his life as a skate blade severed his jugular vein during play. Thanks to blood donors, Kurt was able to make a full recovery and even continue to play the game he loves so much.
Hockey has taken Kurt across most of Canada as he is originally from Brandon, Manitoba where he played for the Brandon Wheat Kings, along with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Neepawa Natives & Langley Chiefs before using his WHL scholarship to attend Brock University in Ontario. After a long recovery following his injury, Kurt was named team captain for two seasons, one of the only CIS goaltenders to ever earn that honour.
Today Kurt lives in beautiful Kelowna, BC where he is a junior partner at a financial planning firm called Peacock Sheridan Group. Kurt has a passion for helping people and uses his personal experience as a catalyst to urge others to give blood via the blood drives he organizes. Kurt is an ambassador for Canadian Blood Services and is thrilled to be part of Hockey Gives Blood.
In the spring of 2005, Aaron Volpatti suffered from severe second and third-degree burns to nearly 40% of his body during a horrible campfire accident. Aaron had just completed an amazing season with the Vernon Vipers. He woke up in the Vancouver General Hospital the day after his accident to be told that his hockey career was likely over.
Aaron’s recovery was long and treacherous. Part of Aaron’s treatment included a blood transfusion during a skin grafting surgery. Aaron eventually managed to beat the odds and return to the ice to pursue his passion. His career continued for ten more years playing for Brown University, the Manitoba Moose, the Vancouver Canucks and the Washington Capitals.
Then, a decade later, during the birth of his son, his wife suffered severe complications that almost took her life. Transfusions from generous donors helped her to eventually make a full recovery. It is uncertain where Aaron’s life would be today without the blood transfusions he and his wife received. Aaron has formed a deep connection with Canadian Blood Services and is forever grateful to the amazing donors who have given blood. Aaron continues to encourage everyone to donate blood and help save a life!