Blood-donation challenge kicks off Wednesday

Sue Guinn Legg • Sep 2, 2013 at 9:21 PM

The seventh annual Battle of the Badges, a blood-donation challenge conducted by the local American Red Cross Blood Services Center to honor the area’s first responders in the weeks leading up to the Sept. 11 observance of Patriot Day, will kick off Wednesday at the Johnson City Municipal and Safety Building.

Held in honor of the officers of Johnson City’s police and fire departments, Wednesday’s blood drive will be held from noon-4:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Municipal and Safety Building at 601 E. Main St.

Donors will be invited to make their donations in honor of the city’s police or fire departments that have alternately held the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive title every year for the past six years and will receive a coupon for a free haircut and an entry in a drawing for a $1,000 cash prize.

Appointments to donate blood during Wednesday’s drive may be made by calling Johnson City’s Community Relations Department at 434-6021 or by emailing comrel@johnsoncitytn.org.

Red Cross Blood Donor Recruiter Gwen Hunter said the Battle of the Badges will continue through Sept. 13 in honor of all city, county and volunteer first responders, including police, fire and emergency medical service department members in the local Red Cross Blood Services region.

Donations may be made in honor of the donor’s favorite first-responder agency during a series of Red Cross blood drives to be held across the region and at the Red Cross Blood Services center located next door to Mahoney’s Sportsman’s Paradise at 818 Sunset Drive, Suite 100. Hunter will present the Battle of the Badges plaque to the winning first-responder group Sept. 16.

“To safeguard our community, local firefighters, law enforcement officers and first responders not only fight fires and keep our communities healthy and safe, they also give blood for people who need lifesaving transfusions,” she said.

Through the annual Battle of the Badges, all local first responders join together to bring in donations from within their ranks and from others in their community. “This is a fun competition, and people in need of blood are all winners,” Hunter said.

In addition to Wednesday’s drive for the Johnson City police and fire departments, Battle of the Badges donations may be made in honor of donors’ favorite first-responder organization during any of the following drives or at the Red Cross Blood Services center during the following collection periods:

  • Tuesday: Northeast Correctional Complex, Highway 67 E., Mountain City, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Red Cross Blood Services, 2:30 to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday: University School, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; East Tennessee State University Culp Center, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Red Cross Blood Services, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Thursday: ETSU Culp Center, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sept. 9: Oak Street Baptist Church, 804 Oak Street, Elizabethton, 1:30-6 p.m.; Red Cross Blood Services, noon-7 p.m.
  • Sept. 10: 203 Vandilla St., Mountain City, 12:30-5:30 p.m.; Red Cross Blood Services, 2:30-7 p.m.
  • Sept. 11: Red Cross Blood Services, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sept. 13: First Christian Church, 307 S. Main Ave., Erwin, noon-5:30 p.m.; Ferguson Enterprises, 100 Quality Circle, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).

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