Friday, Oct 20, 2023

Marsh Regional teams up with Camp Fort Blackmore to host second BBQ and Bluegrass blood drive

Drive offers complimentary barbecue and bluegrass concert for donors

Marsh Regional Blood Center invites blood donors to indulge an afternoon of good eats and soul-soothing tunes at its BBQ and Bluegrass Blood Drive this weekend.

The second-annual drive will accept donors from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 21, at Camp Fort Blackmore, 464 Methodist Camp Lane, Fort Blackmore, Virginia. Donors will be treated to a delicious lunch courtesy of Gate City’s Backdraft Barbecue, complemented by live performances by regional talents including The Virginia Boys, Oscar Harris and Morgan Culbertson. Donors will also earn a special-edition event T-shirt after donating, and those who wish to stay for the concerts should bring a lounge chair.

“We invite everyone to come out to this drive, it will certainly be a weekend full of giving, good food and great music,” said Steffanie Sukel, director of Marsh Regional. “Last year was our first year hosting this drive, and the Southwest Virginia community blew us away with their participation – 93 folks rolled up their sleeves to donate! We’re just thrilled to bring this drive back for a second year, and we hope to see it become a staple for our donors in Southwest Virginia.”

Blood collected by Marsh Regional stays within the Appalachian Highlands, as the blood center supplies blood and blood products to 21 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases across Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. Blood donations benefit trauma patients as well as patients who need a regular supply of blood and blood products, such as patients in treatment for cancer or those with blood disorders.

Project volunteers partnered with Marsh Regional last year to launch the first BBQ and Bluegrass Blood Drive to help fund repairs to Camp Fort Blackmore’s pool.

“This event underscores the power of community support, and we’re thrilled to work with Camp Fort Blackmore again,” Sukel said.

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

For those who are unable to come to the BBQ and Bluegrass Blood Drive, Marsh Regional accepts appointments at any of its three locations in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. For more information on Marsh Regional and blood donation, please visit, or call one of its three centers:

· 423-408-7500 for the Kingsport center

· 423-652-0014 for the Bristol center

· 423-282-7090 for the Johnson City center