By Michael Sneff, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> The Rockstar Roller Derby Team held a blood drive at Ringing Hill Fire Company in partnership with the American Red Cross and Brown Paper Tickets to combat the need for blood donations nationwide.
Lower Pottsgrove was the kickoff location for the 2017 “Make ’Em Bleed” Blood Drive series, a tour of blood drives through December held by roller derby teams across the country.
The event ran from 2 to 7 p.m. on July 26, and donors could win prizes like Rockstar pins and patches as well as participate in raffles. Some of the Rockstar Roller Derby members were also in attendance for part of the event in full uniform.
Throughout the day, a total of 32 individuals donated 34 units of blood. In addition, two individuals gave “Power Red” donations, which are similar to whole blood donations, but one donates two units of red blood cells during one donation while your plasma and platelets are returned to you using a special machine.
“For us it’s really great, for this kind of thing to not be too prominent on the east coast and then to have it in Pottstown is really cool,” said Alana Mauger, American Red Cross communications manager for the Penn-Jersey region. “It’s putting the Red Cross on the map here in Pottstown.”
The Make ’Em Bleed series has origins in California, where the outreach and sales representative for Brown Paper Tickets, Jerry Seltzer, teamed up with the American Red Cross and held a blood drive with one of the roller derby teams in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross have now been rallying roller derby teams from across the country to hold blood drives of their own, which is how the Rockstar Roller Derby team got involved.
Crystal Hayduk, vice president of Rockstar Roller Derby, said that in the summer especially, it is crucial that people donate.
“It’s really important in the summer time that a lot of people don’t donate, right now it’s more than that, but they really need it.”
The blood drive series tour will make stops in numerous states including New Jersey, California and Illinois.
“I think it’s cool that we’re the start of this national event,” Hayduk said. “Since it’s mostly a west coast thing, to be the start of it all is awesome.”
In early July, the American Red Cross called for a blood emergency. According to a press release from the Red Cross, nearly 61,000 fewer blood donations than needed were given through the Red Cross in May and June, prompting the emergency call. For more information on donating blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).