Just because racing has concluded for the year at Michigan International Speedway, it doesn’t mean there is a shortage of things going on at the Irish Hills track. The 2017 Spirit of America Blood Drive returns to the Speedway for the 16th year on September 11th.
What began in 2002 as a tribute to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 has evolved into so much more. This event isn’t just a blood drive. It’s a unique opportunity for the community to honor and remember all those affected by 9/11. Since its inception 15 years ago, the Spirit of America Blood Drive has collected more than 10,709 blood products. Potentially helping to save more than 32,127 lives.
In 2016 alone 510 units were collected. Units donated can potentially save 1,530 lives (3 per unit). “We are excited to partner with Michigan Blood for one of the largest blood drives in the state.” Track President Rick Brenner said. “This is an opportunity for people throughout the region to donate blood to save so many lives as we pause to remember the events of 9/11.” This year’s goal is to schedule 911 appointments for the event.
Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is a fast growing, independent, non-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids. It is the primary provider of blood products and services for more than 60 hospitals throughout Michigan. Michigan Blood is an established leader in quality and service. Michigan Blood collects more than 126,000 units of blood each year at eight permanent donation sites and more than 3,600 mobile blood drives in 59 counties statewide. For more information about Michigan Blood, visit www.miblood.org.
Those who attempt to donate blood will have the opportunity to ride the MIS tram around the track to the “Home of the Brave” exhibit. This exhibit is a 4,000-square-foot multi-media exhibit featuring videos, presidential letters, magazines, newspapers and more. Donors enjoy lunch in the Champions Club overlooking the track and receive a Spirit of America gift bag, a commemorative pin, and a t-shirt.
At the end of the tour, donors will get an up-close view of nearly 3,000 American flags proudly displayed at Unity Field to honor the victims of 9/11. Flags are placed by community volunteers and the Columbia Central High School Honor Society. Each flag represents a victim of the attacks.
“The success of saving lives is made possible by the generosity of our dedicated blood donors. But it is also reliant on mobile drive support, sponsorships, and contributions from invaluable community partnerships with organizations like Michigan International Speedway,” said Alicia Barry, Community Relations Manager for Michigan Blood.
Make Your Appointment to Donate Blood
To participate in this extraordinary event and behind the scenes MIS experience, individuals must have an appointment to donate blood. The blood drive runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663) or at www.SpiritofAmericaBloodDrive.com.
To donate blood, individuals must be 17 years old (16 with parent/guardian consent). Weigh at least 112 pounds and pass a health screening. All blood donors should bring photo ID. Additional information about blood donation can be found at www.miblood.org. Event details can be found at www.SpiritofAmericaBloodDrive.com.
Make the short drive to MIS, enjoy the Irish Hills scenery. Help out a worthy cause, and experience some cool displays at the Speedway. In addition, bring home a gift pack while honoring those individuals that lost their lives on that tragic day.