Spirit of America Blood Drive inspires many

Spirit of America Blood Drive

With many blood donors finding inspiration in the Spirit of America Blood Drive at Michigan International Speedway, people should look no further than the speedway’s director of guest services and event founder Tim Booth.

Booth, who has donated nearly 20 gallons of his own blood since 1978, has lifted the September 11 Spirit of America Blood Drive into one of the nation’s largest 9-11 events.

It’s with his personal passion and inspiration that Booth and the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross have grown the drive in each of its first eight years. Now in its ninth year, the 2010 event will once again bring over 1,200 registered donors to the Irish Hills in what truly is a patriotic event on Patriot’s Day.

“Every year I say the same thing. The Spirit of America Blood Drive isn’t just about giving blood, it’s also about paying tribute to our nation’s heroes and honoring those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001,” Booth said. “This blood drive isn’t just about me. Its success stems from the countless volunteer hours that the speedway staff, local communities, American Red Cross and of course the volunteer donors, put in to make the Spirit of America what it is, a truly remarkable and memorable day for everyone involved.

“I personally enjoy giving blood and have done so regularly for over 30 years,” Booth continued.

The Spirit of America Blood Drive has not gone unnoticed by the NASCAR community either, as Booth was selected as the winner of the 2009 Home Depot NMPA Humanitarian Award last December in Las Vegas prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony. With the award, Booth accepted a check on behalf of the American Red Cross for $100,000, which ensures the financial stability needed to maintain the Spirit of America Blood Drive in the Irish Hills for years to come.

Booth was nominated for the award, along with Sprint Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle.

“I was shocked when I heard my name called that day,” Booth said about receiving the award. “Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, along with many other NASCAR drivers, give so much of their time to charity and I was truly humbled when I heard I had won.”

The Spirit of America Blood Drive will feature a new element in 2010. The Home of the Brave will be a display in the speedway’s new infield Pit Road Suites building. The tribute will be a place for remembrance, education and inspiration and feature a video timeline of the 9-11 events as well as murals, various newspaper headlines and presidential letters, which honor the tragedies of September 11. The Home of the Brave joins Unity Field, the drive’s 3,000 flag tribute honoring the victims of 9-11, as a way to remember the tragic events of that day.

Since its inception in 2002, the Spirit of America Blood Drive has grown into the largest 9-11 blood drive in the nation with more than 1,200 pints of blood collected just last year. In the past eight years, more than 6,200 units of blood have been collected at the Spirit of America Blood Drive, potentially saving over 18,000 lives.

Donors receive a Spirit of America gift bag, lunch in the MIS Champions Club courtesy of Culver’s and a track tour, which features Unity Field and the Home of the Brave. Donors also have the opportunity to take part in a special Richard Petty Driving Experience Ride-A-Long at a discounted rate.

A limited number of appointments for the Spirit of America Blood Drive are still available by calling 1-800-YOU-GAVE.

Be the Match Registry, a National Marrow Donor program, and Gift of Life Michigan will also be on hand to provide all visitors the opportunity to sign up for their database free of charge.

Sponsors of the ninth annual Spirit of America Blood Drive include: A&E Printers, 3M, Advance America, Americrown, Be The Match, Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Chevy Trucks, C&L Sanitation, Coke, Culver’s, DDM Marketing & Communications, Evelyn Bay Coffee, FOX 47, Gift of Life, Jackson Community Ambulance, Michigan CAT, Prestige Promotional Products, Print Tech, Richard Petty Driving Experience, The Home Depot, Vitamin Water.

About the American Red Cross
The Great Lakes Region serves 65 counties, and needs to collect about 700 units of blood a day to meet patient needs in about 70 hospitals in the region.  In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

About Michigan International Speedway
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike. 

The best, guaranteed lowest prices in 2011 will go to renewal customers and new customers who make a $30 goodwill deposit. Current, 2010 customers will have the chance to renew at the best pricing available when they receive their renewal packets. New customers can call 800-354-1010 to leave a deposit. That deposit ensures race fans get the best pricing for 2011.

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