Thursday, Apr 7, 2022

Marsh Regional Blood Center, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce celebrate 75th anniversaries with Jimmy Buffet-themed blood drive

Marsh Regional Blood Center, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Jimmy Buffett have something significant in common – they’re all 75 years old.

To commemorate the occasion, Marsh Regional Blood Center and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce will host a Jimmy Buffet-themed blood drive on Monday, April 11, at the Kingsport Farmers Market. Mobile blood donation units will be on-site from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m.

“By taking an hour of your time, you help save the lives of those who need it while celebrating your local community,” said Steffanie Sukel, director of Marsh Regional. “The work of Marsh Regional providing these lives-saving services to people who need them would not be possible without support from our donors and supportive organizations such as the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.”

All donors will receive a free T-shirt, flower lei and color-changing cup and spoon. Beach Hut will also serve complimentary shaved ice from 1-6 p.m.

Donors will be automatically entered to win a two-night stay at the Margaritaville hotel in Pigeon Forge. A blood donation is not required to be entered to win, and entry forms will be available for community members at the event.

“Your Kingsport Chamber is proud to partner with Marsh Regional Blood Center on this important event,” said Bob Feagins, executive director of communications and development for the Kingsport Chamber. “Donating blood is one of the most important things we can do for each other. This is an easy and critical gift we all can offer, and one that, most importantly, will save someone’s life. We encourage everyone to donate blood not only on this day but throughout the year.

“We congratulate Marsh on its 75th year, and we are honored to have the Kingsport Chamber commemorate its 75th year together,” Feagins added. “We also thank and recognize Marsh for all it does for our community and for its extraordinary efforts to save countless lives.”

Marsh Regional supplies blood to 25 hospitals, all local cancer centers and five air rescue bases in the Appalachian Highlands. Blood supplies are used in emergency, life-threatening situations, but a steady supply of blood and blood products are also needed to treat patients with cancer and other health conditions.

Like many donor centers across the nation, Marsh Regional’s blood supply remains at serious levels for all blood types, driving an urgent need for blood and blood products, such as platelets, in the Appalachian Highlands. Products such as platelets aren’t collected on mobile units, but donors can make an appointment at any Marsh Regional blood donation center at a later date.

Donors with O-negative blood types are particularly welcome, as their blood can be used for any patient.

Appointments for the drive can be made on the Marsh Regional Facebook page or by calling 423-408-7500. Walk-in appointments will also be accommodated.

Donors must always wear a mask while donating blood. Those who are recovering from COVID-19 should wait at least two weeks after COVID-19 symptoms resolve before donating.

To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or who are taking antibiotics may not donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood.

An appointment is preferred for giving blood at any blood center, and donors who make appointments for mobile blood drives and blood donation events are given priority. Donors should call 423-408-7500, or visit the Marsh Regional website for more information or to make an appointment.