Red Cross Urges Donors To Roll Up Their Sleeves at Media Blood Donor Day

File Photo by Scott McCloskey Blood donors fill WesBanco Arena in Wheeling for a past Media Blood Donor Day event.

WHEELING — Despite dire weather predicted for the holiday weekend, the American Red Cross is prepared to hold its 33rd annual Ohio Valley Media Blood Donor Day on Monday at WesBanco Arena.

The blood drive is set from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the arena’s main floor. Donors can register in advance or at the event.

“God willing, we will not have the big snow predicted,” said Phyllis Riccadonna, account manager for the American Red Cross’ Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region.

Regarding the potential for bad weather, she said, “I don’t think we would ever cancel this … blood drive under any circumstances … .

“All sponsors are in place, all vendors are in place, all staffing in place. Regardless of weather, we would have to collect blood product that day.”

The collection goal is 245 units of blood, a slight increase from the 222 units collected in 2018.

To make an appointment for the drive, prospective donors can call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767), visit online at RedCross.org and enter the sponsor code of “mediaday,” or use the blood donor app. To save up to 15 minutes at the donation time, donors can go online to RedCross.org/Rapid Pass.

All presenting donors will receive a free commemorative T-shirt. Refreshments, free parking and babysitting will be provided.

Free food for donors will be available all day, Riccadonna said. A number of Wheeling businesses are providing food for the event.

In the morning, donors may have snacks of Timbits from Tim Horton’s and fruit from Jebbia’s Market. At lunchtime, the menu will feature pizza from DeFelice Brothers, Greek salad, chips and salsa from Ye Olde Alpha, and roast beef sandwiches from Arby’s. More pizza from DeFelice Brothers will be offered later in the afternoon.

This year’s event coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, a community service theme has been adopted for the blood drive, Riccadonna said.

In urging the public to donate blood, Red Cross officials are sharing a quotation from King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Media Blood Donor Day is always conducted on a Monday, but usually not on the holiday. This year, however, “it was the only date WesBanco Arena had open on a Monday for us,” she said.

Organizers are unsure if the holiday will attract more participants to the blood drive.

Sponsors for Ohio Valley Media Blood Donor Day are The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, the Times Leader, the Herald-Star, Bath Fitter, Bordas and Bordas, Century Hospitality, Residence Inn by Marriott, West Texas Roadhouse and other media partners.

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