Founded by former hockey players

Hockey Gives Blood was founded in 2018 by former hockey players, all of whom were seeking to do more for the Hockey community.

When the Humboldt Broncos tragedy struck they were filled with a desire to give back. Hockey Gives Blood is a work of passion for each of them.
Hockey Gives Blood is a non-profit society that has partnered with the Canadian Blood Services in an effort to engage and educate the hockey community about the importance of blood, plasma, stem cell and organ & tissue donation. 

The inspiration for this group came from two separate events; the first being the death of Tom Middleton (father of Stu Middleton, cofounder) and the second being the Humboldt Broncos tragedy. Stu’s father was killed on the Trans-Canada Highway while en route to one his Junior games in 2000. Stu’s teammates and the local hockey community helped him through that difficult time just as Canadians witnessed the hockey community rallying together to help those affected by the accident in Humboldt. In wake of the 2018 tragedy, Hockey Gives Blood set out to build something that is positive, is long-lasting, and is a tool for the hockey community to make a positive impact at every level. 

The team is comprised of former players who believe Hockey Gives Blood has the potential to be a leader in sport benevolence. As passionate as they are about hockey, they are just as enthusiastic about this incredible movement!

Meet our Team

Stu Middleton
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 the 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 Energy Installations in Kamloops, BC where he resides with his wife Amy, and children Julia, Evangeline, and Tommy. moreread less
Luke Pierce
Vice President & Chairman of the Board
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 the Head Coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings. moreread less
Aaron Volpatti
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!

Aaron Volpatti is currently an author, speaker, and an expert visualization and performance coach. moreread less
Eric Locke
Eric Locke joined Hockey Gives Blood in the spring of 2019 as a director looking to increase blood donations in the Ottawa, Ontario region. Eric grew up in Toronto and found himself playing hockey throughout Canada playing in the Ontario Hockey League, Atlantic University Sport and finishing his career with the University of Ottawa GeeGees of the Ontario University Athletics league. Eric believes helping Hockey Gives Blood to be a great transition from playing the game to giving back to the community!

Eric is a multi-time blood donor who is currently completing his Doctorate of Medicine. He’s seen first-hand the need for blood following the Ottawa public transportation bus crash in January of 2019, as well as the consistent use of blood for those with chronic illnesses.

Eric looks forward to working with hockey programs throughout the Ottawa area to raise awareness for both blood and stem cell donations!

Eric is currently an Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Ottawa Hospital. moreread less
Emerance Maschmeyer
As member of the Canadian National Women’s Team and the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, Emerance is well known and respected throughout the hockey community. She also has a personal connection to blood as her mother received a life saving blood transfusion after complications related to a hysterectomy. Highlighted by this event was the reminder that the need for blood can often give very little warning.

Emerance currently advises and oversees the growth and expansion of the Women's Player Ambassador Program. moreread less

Past Directors

Kurt Jory
Tanner Murray
Co-Founder/Director/ Volunteer
Brett Johnston