The Nashville Predators Foundation and American Red Cross will bring their multi-city blood drive to Bowling Green this week.
The local drive will be Wednesday and Friday at Holiday Inn University Plaza from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The tour includes more than 20 cities in Tennessee, and Bowling Green is one of the few stops the blood drive is scheduled to make in Kentucky.
“Bowling Green is a part of our outreach, and it has been for many years,” American Red Cross of Tennessee Regional Communications Director Sherri McKinney said. “We have seen a good response from that area over the years.”
McKinney said this is the second year the Red Cross has partnered with the Predators for the tour, and the Red Cross’ need for blood nationwide is severe. In particular, she said, there is a need for Type O blood.
She said the national shortage is mainly because of many people scheduling surgeries after they were delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the public traveling more now, there has also been a sharp uptick in trauma cases across the country.
“We want to make sure that whenever a patient needs blood, it is available,” McKinney said. “When a person decides not to donate their normal donation, it trickles down throughout our system. You never know how much blood is needed for trauma cases. The fact is that blood is life.”
As an added incentive, all donors during this week’s tour who pre-schedule an appointment will receive a Predators foam hockey puck, while supplies last.
Donors will also be automatically entered into a drawing to win an official Red Cross logo puck signed by a current Nashville Predators player from each blood drive location.
In honor of World Blood Donor Day on June 14, donors who come to give blood by June 30 will also receive a $5 gift card from Amazon.com, by email.
McKinney said last year’s partnership with the Predators proved to be a positive way to garner attention.
“They help us spread the need for blood on all of their social media outlets,” she said. “They have a passionate fan base, and they really come out to help donate blood.”
The Red Cross is also testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies through July 24.
The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
To make an appointment at any of the stops during the tour, visit www.redcross blood.org and enter sponsor code PREDS19.
Individuals can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.