Media Day Blood Drive Set Jan. 27

There will be blood on the ice at WesBanco Arena later this month, but it won’t be from a hockey game.

The annual Ohio Valley Media Day Blood Drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 27.

Cheryl Gergely, American Red Cross communications manager for the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, announced Wednesday that donor appointments are encouraged but walk-in donors are welcome.

The blood drive is sponsored and promoted by Wheeling area media outlets and is one of the largest one-day blood drives in the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region. The goal of this year’s blood drive is 350 successful donations. To meet such a goal, about 440 people will need to donate blood.

“We look forward to this blood drive every year,” Gergely said. “Winter is a time when severe weather often impacts blood donations, and this blood drive helps build up the supply.”

According to Gergely, the Red Cross has canceled some of its blood drives due to weather that impacted driving conditions.

“People don’t want to get out or can’t get out,” Gergely said.

As winter is a critical collection period for the Red Cross, Gergely hopes local residents will support patients by attending the event and donating blood.

“The people of the Wheeling area have always supported this event, and we appreciate their dedication to our hospital patients,” Gergely said.

The 2014 Media Day blood drive includes a Media Day T-shirt, while supplies last, to those who donate blood. Local businesses will donate food. Free child care services, parking at the Intermodal Transportation Center and transportation provided by Airport Limousine to and from the blood drive will be available.

Those wanting transportation can call 304-232-1175.

Although the Red Cross accepts all blood types, O negative, the universal blood type which can be transfused to patients of all types, is in particular need as it is always in great demand and often in short supply. Donors with types O positive, A negative and B negative are also in need.

Gina Walker, who gave birth to her third child in Feb. 2012, was diagnosed early in pregnancy with an uncommon medical condition called placenta percreta. She received 540 transfusions of blood and blood products.

“I was scared for both my baby and my life, and the thought that I may not ever see my family after the delivery was devastating,” Walker said, adding she will attend the drive.

Corporate sponsors for the blood drive include WesBanco Arena; Wheeling Intermodal Parking Garage; Bordas & Bordas; Walmart Foundation; Boscov’s; Project BEST; West Texas Roadhouse; Ohio Bath Solutions LLC; and Hampton Inn Wheeling.

Other businesses making donations to the drive include DiCarlo’s Pizza, Elm Grove and National Road; DeFelice Pizza, Wheeling; Wheeling Coffee & Spice; Cheddars; Ye Olde Alpha; Arby’s; Pepsi; Tim Hortons; Wheeling Nailers; Airport Limousine Service; Perkins; Riesbecks; Osaka Steak House; and Garfield’s Restaurant.