The Canadian Blood Services celebrated the opening of its new facility in Guildford on Tuesday, drawing a crowd of about 50 donors and well-wishers.
The opening, which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, allowed members of the public to check out the state-of-the-art facility for the first time.
Formerly located in Newton, the new facility lies in the heart of Guildford at 15285 101st Ave. and, according to the clinic's partnership specialist Jeffrey O'Brien, is much better situated to bring in donors.
"If you look at the Guildford area, this is where the saturation is for most of the organizations that work here," he said.
"It's got businesses, residential, schools and we've got the mall right across the street, so it's very centrally located to a lot that's happening in Surrey."
As such, O'Brien is hopeful that the new location will allow more people to come to the clinic and donate blood, something that may have been tough to expect from the former location.
"We were getting a really good turnout of residential donors, but we weren't getting enough businesses or walk-ins," said O'Brien.
"That was also almost impossible to ask that with that location being where it is."
Located amongst various business operators and easily accessible off 152nd Street, O'Brien is looking forward to seeing more people coming out to give the gift of life.
"The commitment of donors in Surrey is amazing and we are increasing our hours as well as the days we're open," he said. "This Guildford area gives us everything."
Also on hand for the grand opening were Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell and Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne.
"I'd just like to acknowledge the important part the Canadian Blood Services play in our community," said Hammell, addressing the crowd. "They collect 850,000 units of blood annually. You think about that, that's a huge number."
Hammell then recounted a recent incident where a friend required blood following a recent workplace accident.
"Without the great services we have and the donors using this service, he would not be here," she said. "So this is important to all of us and I'm really pleased we've got such a first-class facility in Surrey."
Hayne was representing council on behalf of Mayor Dianne Watts, who was unavailable for the event.
For more information about Canadian Blood Services, visit blood.ca.