Lisa Rind/Bullet News
This summer, Canadian Blood Services is partnering with emergency service workers in Niagara Falls for the campaign, to support local heroes who see firsthand the need for blood donations.
With the theme of “someone still needs YOUR help,” residents of Niagara Falls are being asked to support the local emergency services teams, giving blood at clinics like the one being held June 24, 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Optimist Club at 4751 Dorchester Rd. The Sirens for Life kickoff is at 3 p.m., while a special illumination over the falls takes place at 9 p.m.
Illumination over the Horseshoe and American Falls is a pretty sight on a summer’s eve. Marry that with an exciting fireworks display, and you have an evening well worth the trip to the fallsview area. Since the falls are illuminated from 9 p.m. to midnight, May 1 through Aug. 15, there are plenty of opportunities to head down and check out the lights.
Some upcoming summer dates with coloured illumination scheduled include:
June 21 – National Aboriginal Day – amber, red, blue and white;
June 24 – Canadian Blood Services – red;
June 29 – Hereditary Hemorrhage Telangectasia Awareness Month – blue and red;
July 1 – Canada Day – red and white, and
July 4 – Independence Day – red, white and blue.
The coloured lights, however, are more than just pretty. They can assist a charity or non-profit in spreading a message, or aiding in a fundraising campaign. In the case of Canadian Blood Services, we are reminded that summer can be a busy time for emergency departments.
“The need for blood doesn’t take a summer vacation, and paramedics, fire and police workers may know this more than most. That’s one of the reasons these first responders are rallying together and rolling up their sleeves,” said Geoff Ryall, community development co-ordinator at Canadian Blood Services. “They are on the front line every day and know lives can change in an instant. Anyone can need blood at any time.”
As the seasons progress, the time the lights turn on is altered. Aug. 16 through Sept. 30, illumination begins at 8:30 p.m., and Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 through Dec. 30, the lights are on 5 p.m. to midnight, but New Year’s Eve has illumination extended to 1 a.m.
If you are hoping to catch a fireworks display, and perhaps a concert in Queen Victoria Park in addition to viewing the lights over the falls, you’ll need to take note of the following information: For fireworks over the falls, from May 17 until Sept. 1, displays hosted by the Niagara Parks Commission take place every Friday, Sunday and holidays at 10 p.m. On fireworks evenings, free concerts promoted by Coca Cola begin at 8 p.m. in Queen Victoria Park. Some holiday evenings, like Canada Day and New Year’s Eve, other, special events are planned as well. During winter months, the Winter Festival of Lights produces the fireworks displays.
It is said the best views of fireworks are from Table Rock, near the brink of the cataracts themselves, but anywhere in the fallsview area will give you a spectacular view. All fireworks dates and times are subject to change and dependent upon weather and wind conditions.
Whether you’re planning to see the lights and fireworks, or are just driving in the fallsview area, Canadian Blood Services wanted to remind us that safety is paramount, for drivers and pedestrians.
“It can take 50 blood donors to save someone who has been in a car accident. Donating blood only takes about an hour,” Ryall said. “Canadian Blood Services needs people to rally together to help patients in need.”
To book an appointment to donate blood, visit the website www.blood.ca or 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).
The implementation of the fireworks is a joint effort. The Niagara Parks Commission looks after the fireworks in the summer, while from November to January, the Winter Festival of Lights takes the helm.
(With files by Canadian Blood Services)
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