After recently hosting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Michigan International Speedway is again preparing for another of the country’s biggest events by hosting the Spirit of America Blood Drive on Thursday, Sept. 11.
Since its inception in 2002, the Spirit of America Blood Drive has grown into one of the largest 9-11 blood drives in the nation with more than 3,700 units of blood donated. With its overwhelming success, the drive caught the eye of the NASCAR Foundation, which created the Blood and Marrow Drive, a 28-track effort across the country.
“The success of the Spirit of America Blood Drive goes to the more than 1,000 people who take the time out of their busy days to come to MIS and donate blood,” MIS Director of Guest Services and Spirit of America founder Tim Booth said. “I am so pleased with how the drive has brought people together for one common goal: to give blood and save lives. It truly is a way to honor the tragedies of 9-11.”
Last year, 962 units of blood were donated in a 12-hour period, easily making it the most successful Spirit of America Blood Drive thus far. With more than 1,300 appointments already scheduled, the 2008 drive is expected to exceed last year’s numbers with the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross benefiting from the donations.
In six years, 3,740 units of blood have been collected, which had the potential of saving 11,220 lives (each blood unit has the potential to be transfused to up to 3 people).
“Dedicated to the victims and survivors of the 2001 terrorist attacks, this special event continues to impact thousands of lives,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “The tremendous support we receive from Michigan International Speedway, volunteers, blood donors and the community, help us collect hundreds of units of blood and remind everyone the need for blood is constant.”
The 2008 Spirit of America Blood Drive is by appointment only. A limited number of appointments remain for the event. To donate, call 800-YOU-GAVE or visit SpiritofAmericaBloodDrive.com. With each donation, donors receive a gift bag, lunch in the Champions Club courtesy of Culver’s, and a track tour, which features Unity Field, a display of 3,000 American flags honoring the victims of 9-11.
The Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross collects blood from volunteer donors in 65 Michigan counties and helps provides blood products to patients in 129 hospitals statewide. In the past 12 months, the American Red Cross has experienced frequent and severe blood shortages. Supplies of critical blood types have been as low as six hours but rarely higher than two days. The Red Cross considers a three-day supply of all blood types to be safe and adequate for meeting emergency and ongoing medical needs.
Sponsors of the seventh annual Spirit of America Blood Drive include: AAA, Advance America, Americrown, Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, Chevy Trucks, C&L Sanitation, Coke, Culver’s, DDM Marketing & Communications, Defined Wellness Center, FOX 47, Hendrick Marrow Program, Herald Printing, Jackson Community Ambulance, Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Michigan CAT, NASCAR Foundation, National Marrow Donor Program, Nationwide, Richard Petty Driving Experience, Sprint, Vitamin Water and the Walton Agency.