The Spirit of America Blood Drive returns to Michigan International Speedway in September, marking 18 years of Michigan residents rolling up their sleeves at this special day-long event to help save lives.
The Sept. 11 blood drive runs from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at the speedway, located at 12626 US-12 in Brooklyn. Last year, nearly 600 people donated blood at the drive, which honors those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, and emergency responders who answered the call.
Since its inception in 2002, the drive has collected more than 11,301 blood products, helping save the lives of more than 33,903 Michigan residents.
“We are proud to partner with the Versiti Blood Center of Michigan to collect needed blood supplies that will benefit so many in the state,” said Michigan International Speedway President Rick Brenner. “As we pause to remember the events of 9/11, we invite people to help to save countless lives by donating blood.”
All donors will receive a Spirit of America gift bag and commemorative T-shirt. They may enjoy a complimentary meal in the speedway’s Champions Club and a tram ride around the track. Donors may also pay their respects to 9/11 victims and emergency responders at the emotional “Home of the Brave” memorial, a 4,000-square-foot multi-media exhibit featuring videos, presidential letters, magazines, newspapers and more.
Michigan International Speedway will once again display nearly 3,000 American flags at Unity Field to honor 9/11 victims and emergency responders. The flags are placed by community volunteers and the Columbia Central High School Honor Society.
“We’re coming out of the summer season when our blood supply was dangerously low,” said Dawn Kaiser, area vice president and director of donor services at Versiti Blood Center of Michigan. “We need to collect 550 units of blood every day for the nearly 70 hospitals we serve throughout the state. Thanks to our strong partnership with Michigan International Speedway and our generous donors who come out each year to be a beacon of hope for patients in need, we’re truly saving lives together.”
Appointments to donate blood are required. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-866-642-5663 or make an appointment online at https://www.versiti.org/ways-to-give/our-communities/michigan/spirit-of-america-blood-drive.
Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to give. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.
Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, formerly Michigan Blood, has collected blood throughout the state since 1955. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, the non-profit organization provides blood products and services to nearly 80 Michigan hospitals. Versiti collects more than 114,000 units of blood each year in Michigan at eight donation centers and through the operation of more than 3,400 community blood drives throughout the state.