By Michael Sneff, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> Roller derby players have been sustaining bloody injuries for as long as the contact sport has been around, but now, it’s the public’s turn to shed some blood in a lot less painful way and for a good cause. The Roller Derby Rockstars will be holding a blood drive this week to kickoff the “Make ’Em Bleed” roller derby blood drive series in partnership with the American Red Crossand Brown Paper Tickets. The local competitive skating league will join roller derby teams from across the country in an effort to save lives through blood donations.
The event will run Wednesday from 2 to 7 p.m. at Ringing Hills Fire Company, 815 White Pine Lane in Lower Pottsgrove. During the blood drive, there will be opportunities to win prizes like Rockstar pins and patches as well as participate in raffles. Some of the Roller Derby Rockstar members will also be in attendance for part of the event, offering autographs and photo opportunities.
The drive already has more than 20 people registered but Roller Derby Rockstar vice president Crystal Hayduk said she hopes to have more than 50 people donate over the day. The Red Cross does accept walk-ins, but it is highly recommended to pre-register online.
This is the first year the local roller derby league will be participating in the blood drive series. Hayduk said she found out about the opportunity for roller derby teams to hold blood drives through a post from the CEO of Brown Paper Tickets and thought it was a great idea.
“It’s a perfect way to get our name out there in the community,” Hayduk said. “It’s a real feel-good event.”
The “Make ’Em Bleed” series has origins in California, with a roller derby team in Santa Cruz partnering with Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross. Since then, they have grown into the largest roller derby blood drive series in the United States, with a summer tour this year hosting drives in five states coast to coast.
“The Make ’Em Bleed blood drives provide a fantastic atmosphere, with roller derby athletes skating in uniform, refreshments, giveaways and an all-around good time,” Justin Mueller, a representative for the American Red Cross, said in a press release.
“The summer is one of the most difficult times for the Red Cross to collect blood, so Make ’Em Bleed has really made a difference to help ensure blood is available for patients in need,” Mueller stated in the press release.
As for how Lower Pottsgrove came to be the tour kick off location, Hayduk said it just worked out that way with scheduling. She said that she and the rest of the Roller Derby Rockstars are excited and ready to get more involved in the local community.
“I consider myself very passionate when it comes to blood drives. People will always, always need blood,” Hayduk said. “I want to make this a yearly thing, rock out this year, and then rock on to the next year!”
Those interested in donating blood can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code “DERBY” to schedule a convenient donation appointment, but walk-ins are welcome.