LOS ANGELES, January 30, 2024 — Amid food, music, facility tours and fanfare, the American Red Cross Pomona Blood, Platelet and Plasma Donation Center is being renamed The Betty Bazar Blood Center, to honor the memory of philanthropist Betty Bazar.
On February 2, family and friends of manufacturing pioneer and humanitarian will join elected officials and the Red Cross community for the unveiling. The newly named center is one of the world’s leading blood collection and processing centers at 190,000 square feet, and the largest platelet collection site in California, collecting nearly 14,000 platelet products in the past year. Annually, the center collects upwards of 250,000 units of blood and distributes over 400,000 blood products, resources essential for surgeries, cancer treatments, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries.
Born in 1923 in Rankin, Pennsylvania, Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Holohan grew up during the Great Depression and World War II eras. She met her first husband, Harvey Paul Bazar in high school and following his service in World War II, the couple moved to Southern California. In 1961, the Bazars founded Sensor Systems, Inc., an aviation antenna company that would evolve into a major supplier for commercial and corporate aircraft. Both Betty and Harvey were accomplished pilots.
In 1965, following Harvey’s passing, Betty assumed leadership as President and CEO of Sensor Systems, Inc. and under her guidance the company became a global force in the aviation industry.
In 1972, Betty met and married Seymour Robin. Together, they further solidified the success of Sensor Systems, Inc. In 2016 Betty formed the Mary E. Bazar-Robin Foundation which generously supports the Red Cross.
“My mom was a very caring person; she had a very kind spirit,” Paula Bazar-Sandling, Chairman of the Mary E. Bazar-Robin Foundation said. “My mother built an incredible business; she worked her whole life; she worked hard, and she sacrificed. When she passed away and the business was sold, we knew it was a great opportunity to spread the word about my mother and help people; but the legacy that my mother’s name is going to be everywhere is incredible. We never thought about that happening. We just wanted to share what she started; we just thought we were so lucky to do this for her.”
NEWLY NAMED BLOOD CENTER CALLS ON BLOOD DONORS
The Red Cross blood supply has fallen to critically low levels in recent weeks across the country, and the Red Cross has had to limit distributions of some of the most transfused blood types to hospitals. The Red Cross works with hospitals around the clock to help meet the needs of patients, but blood products are currently going to hospitals faster than blood donations are coming in. More donations are needed now, especially type O and platelet donations. Type O is the most needed blood group by hospitals. Distributions of this vital blood type to hospitals have been reduced for several weeks this winter due to supply constraints. Platelets are the clotting portion of blood, and nearly half of all platelet donations are given to patients undergoing cancer treatments. Because they must be transfused within five days of donation, even small declines in donations can greatly impact the available supply.
WAYS TO DONATE BLOOD
By making an appointment to give blood or platelets, donors can keep the national blood supply from falling to shortage levels. Schedule an appointment to give by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. Anyone who donates blood in February will receive a $20 Amazon gift card.
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 were 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.