Dates Announced for the 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games in Cleveland

Multi-sport event featuring organ, eye and tissue recipients, donors, donor families, and supporters to take place June 10-15, 2016.

CLEVELAND (January 5, 2015) –


The 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games will be held June 10-15, 2016 the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission announced Monday.The Transplant Games will involve an estimated 9,000 visitors participating in over 20 events and ancillary activities throughout Greater Cleveland and is expected to provide between $5 and $8 million of economic activity to the region. The Sports Commission will manage the event with extensive support from local partners Lifebanc, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. The event was awarded to Cleveland in April 2014.

The 2016 Transplant Games will feature 18 sporting events involving competitors of all ages. Numerous ancillary activities, including opening and closing ceremonies, donor recognition events and several receptions, are also highlights of the event. Many events and activities will take place in Downtown Cleveland, with area universities also serving as venues. Exact event locations and schedules will be announced at a later date.

The biennial Transplant Games aim to raise awareness for the life-altering benefits brought through the transplantation of organs, tissue and corneas. Transplantation saves thousands of lives each year and the Transplant Games celebrate the gift of life and honor donors and their families. Nearly 125,000 people in the United States currently await a life-saving organ transplant and the Transplant Games provide a platform for education on the importance and need for organ and tissue donation. The Transplant Games began in 1990, with the Cleveland event being the 14th edition.


Adding dates to a much-anticipated event is always exciting for us as an organization. We expect to host the largest and most successful Transplant Games in history and we know Cleveland will provide a fantastic backdrop for this extremely meaningful event. The Games will promote, highlight and celebrate donation and transplantation and provide millions of dollars in economic activity to the region.
David Gilbert,
President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission

Cleveland was selected to host the event due to its potential venues, lodging options, public transportation, flight pricing and schedules, and driving distance from other markets. 12 other cities submitted official bids to host the event and Cleveland was one of three finalists. Cleveland also benefited from having world-class transplant centers at both Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.


We are thrilled to bring the Transplant Games to Cleveland. We can’t think of a better community to host this event which serves to bring tremendous awareness to the amazing miracle of organ, eye, and tissue transplantation. As we honor recipients, donors, and donor families, we also bring awareness to the growing need for donors with over 120,000 individuals still in need of a life-saving organ.
Bill Ryan, President and CEO of the Transplant Games of America
Bill Ryan, President and CEO of the Transplant Games of America

Donate Life Ohio, led by Lifebanc, Northeast Ohio’s organ procurement organization, will provide assistance in managing the event. Lifebanc has continually supported the Transplant Games throughout the event’s history and will be using the 2016 Transplant Games to greatly increase the number of people on Ohio’s donor registration list as well as all the registries across the United States.


It is the vision of Lifebanc to pursue the future when the decision to donate is an honor and everyone waiting receives a transplant. The collaboration for the 2016 Transplant Games in Cleveland will be a catalyst for increasing awareness, education and donor designations for organ, eye and tissue donation in our community and beyond.
Gordon Bowen, CEO of Lifebanc
Gordon Bowen, CEO of Lifebanc

The Donate Life Transplant Games is the latest in a long line of large-scale, multi-sport events brought to Northeast Ohio by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. Similar events hosted by the Sports Commission since 2000 include the 2004 International Children’s Games, 2007 World School Games and 2013 National Senior Games.


ABOUT THE GREATER CLEVELAND SPORTS COMMISSION

The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission prides itself on being one of the most distinguished Sports Commissions in the country, effectively leveraging sports events and activities to further economic development in Northeast Ohio. The philosophy of the Sports Commission sets it apart from others by operating as an economic and community development organization utilizing sports as a vehicle to forward other community agendas. The organization takes the unique approach of becoming a management and financial partner in each event with the goal of producing events that are more successful in Cleveland than other cities in which they have been held. Since 2000, the Sports Commission has been responsible for attracting over 160 sporting events, contributing to more than $410 million in economic activity. For more information, visit www.clevelandsports.org

ABOUT THE DONATE LIFE TRANSPLANT GAMES OF AMERICA

The Donate Life Transplant Games is a multi-sport festival event produced by The Transplant Games of America®, a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to promote organ, eye, and tissue donation. The organization based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan brings awareness to the tremendous advances in the field of transplantation and in the development of immuno-suppressant drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. For more information visit www.transplantgamesofamerica.org

ABOUT LIFEBANC

Lifebanc, is the northeast Ohio nonprofit organization, working to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. Lifebanc facilitates the donation process, provides bereavement services to the families of individuals that have generously given the gift of life, and educates our community about the importance and need for organ, eye and tissue donation. Nearly 125,000 individuals are currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. Every registered organ, eye and tissue donor can potentially save and heal the lives of more than 50 people. For more information, www.lifebanc.org



MEDIA CONTACT: Nick VanDemark, Communications Manager Greater Cleveland Sports Commission nvandemark@clevelandsports.org | O: 216-479-6399 | C: 419-769-3544 | @CLESports | facebook.com/CLESports