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Blood Drive on Route 66 helps save lives

Media contact: Joy Squier,,


312-907-0520 (24/7 Media Line)


Blood Drive on Route 66 helps save lives

July 26 event comes as Red Cross faces critical blood shortage


JOLIET, Ill. (July 12, 2017) — Blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, and more donations are needed now to replenish the blood supply. The American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley board of directors invites the community to give at the Blood Drive on Route 66, Wednesday, July 26, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the historic Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet, in the Esplanade and Rotunda rooms. Those who come out to give will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, and be entered to win one of eight $10 Visa gift cards, courtesy of Suburban Propane, or one of eight $10 Meijer gift cards. Participants will also receive a special Rialto Square Theatre Show Presale Pass that allows show tickets to be purchased before available to the general public. As a Red Cross sponsor, 1340 WJOL will broadcast live from this event.


“During the summer, the American Red Cross experiences a drastic decline in new donors, and current donors often delay giving due to warm-weather activities and vacation plans,” said Ken Cozzi, executive director with the Red Cross. “Blood donations of all types are needed. We appreciate 1340 WJOL, the Rialto Square Theater and community members for their support in getting this message out and encouraging people to come out to the Rialto Theater and donate.”


Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.


“While all blood types are needed, those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive,” said Raul Mora, manufacturing director with the Red Cross. “Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.”


Those who attempt to donate now through Sept. 4 with the Red Cross can enter to win one of three grand prize packages for four to Knott’s Berry Farm in California or Cedar Point in Ohio.


How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, sponsor code: Route66 or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.


About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.