Nfld. & Labrador

The Merb'ys are looking for new blood – literally

The MerB’ys rolled up their scales Saturday, trying to bring in new blood.

Group famous for their calendars helps out another charity

A beached Merb'y waving at cars on the Parkway. (Katie Breen/CBC)

The Merb'ys rolled up their scales Saturday, hoping to bring in new blood.

Burly men of the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Mustache Club first posed topless in fishtails to raise money for mental health.

Now they're using their calendar fame to bring in more blood donors.

22,000 donations needed

"I think their capacity is like 30-odd people here," club president Hasan Hai said from a donor chair at the Wicklow St. blood bank in St. John's.

Hasan Hai is the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club. (Katie Breen/CBC)

His goal Saturday was to bring in a few dozen extra people to help Canadian Blood Services reach its goal of 22,000 donors by Aug. 26 — what the charity says it needs in order to meet demand for the remainder of this summer.

"But I think even bigger, is that people just knowing that we're present or part of this … so hopefully dozens or hundreds of people can be first-time donors."

Beached Merb'ys

The Merb'ys took over the clinic Saturday, donating their own blood and beaching themselves on the sidewalk outside, waving tails and trying to convince cars to turn into the parking lot.

"It's been tremendous," said Canadian Blood Services territory manager Gordon Skiffington.

"They've done a lot of work to increase the awareness of the need of blood and blood donation."

Gordon Skiffington is a territory manager with the Canadian Blood Services. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Despite Saturday's success, Canadian Blood Services is still in need of donors. There are appointments available in St. John's and walk-ins are accepted.

And if the Merb'ys' siren-like call or photo-op offering wasn't enough to convince donors, Hai said the clinic has its own charms.

"They have great cookies and juice packs," he said. "It's always a great chat."