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Thursday, Apr 27, 2023

Marsh Regional Blood Center hosting Jimmy Buffett-themed blood drive at Kingsport Farmers Market

Marsh Regional Blood Center is hosting a themed blood drive on Monday, May 1, that’s sure to get donors ready and excited for summertime.

The Jimmy Buffett drive will be held at the Kingsport Farmers Market, located at 308 Clinchfield Street, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. All donors will receive a free tropical-themed T-shirt, snacks and a Sunset Slush® Classic Italian Ice.

“By taking an hour of your time to donate blood, you could help save the lives of those who need it,” said Steffanie Sukel, director of Marsh Regional. “The work of Marsh Regional providing these lifesaving services to people would not be possible without support from our donors and supportive organizations, such as the Kingsport Farmers Market.”

Donors will also be automatically entered to win an overnight stay at the Jimmy Buffett’s 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.

Donating blood is one of the most important things we can do for each other,” Sukel said. “This is an easy and critical gift we all can offer, and one that, most importantly, can save someone’s life. We encourage everyone to donate blood, not only on this day, but throughout the year.”

Marsh Regional supplies blood to 21 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.

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 for more information or to make an appointment.