On-Line Edition Thursday, January 11, 2018 Vol. 60 No. 2
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Give the gift of life
Celebrate National Volunteer Blood Donor Month by donating the gift of life at the annual Village of Lombard Winter Blood Drives on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Heartland Blood Centers is currently reporting a critical need for blood–as blood reserves are running dramatically low–and invite eligible donors to roll up their sleeves and save a life. The blood drives will be held at Yorktown Center (in a Heartland mobile coach outside Entrance #5 between Von Maur and The Eatery) from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then at the Lombard Village Hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave., from 1:30 to 7 p.m. Pictured at the Lombard Village Hall are (left to right) blood drive Coordinator Carol Bauer; longtime blood donor Dan Colpo (Village of Lombard senior mechanic); and longtime blood drive volunteer and donor Mari Ann Mellin. For more information, see Out & About in this issue of the Lombardian. Photo by Steve Spoden
***** Out & About by Jane Charmelo *****
Jan. 17 Lombard blood drive helps address ongoing need
Carol Bauer maintains that despite the cold Midwest weather, the need for blood always exists, and she counts on donors to brave the elements and help save a life — or up to three. Blood, she emphasized, is "needed all the time." This year's Village of Lombard Blood Drive, in conjunction with Heartland Blood Centers, will take place Wednesday, Jan. 17, at both the Lombard Village Hall and Yorktown Center. January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, but that hasn't stopped Bauer from holding drives in the village at all times of the year. The village has been hosting drives since January 1988, when there were two drives per year. Bauer was named the village's blood drive coordinator in 1993. Since then, the village began partnering with Yorktown Center in 1995 to hold blood drives at the mall, and in 1999, Heartland asked Lombard to hold an additional drive in April, when blood supplies were low; and on that day, April 20, the Columbine Glen High School shootings occurred — blood collected from the drive was sent to Colorado. In 2000, the village began holding three drives a year, and in 2004, the village increased its drives to four per year. In 2011, the village saw its largest yield yet; 256 pints of blood collected in September. In 2013, a fifth blood drive was added in November, and named the William J. Mueller Memorial Blood Drive, after the late village president. In 2016, the April blood drive was named after Bauer for her service to Heartland Blood Centers. Over the years, Bauer's contributions to the blood drive efforts have not gone unnoticed: In fall 2013, she was given an award from the Coalition of Community Blood Centers for Most Dedicated Blood Drive Coordinator in the state of Illinois. She went to Springfield in March 2014 to accept the award. Bauer was also nominated by Village President Keith Giagnorio in February 2014 for the Red Cross Heroes Award. Also in 2014, she was given the William J. Mueller Citizenship Award by the Lombard Jaycees. In early 2016, the coordinator was given a Golden Heart Award, and in 2017, she received Heartland's Award of Excellence in April, the Jaycees' John Egan Distinguished Service Award in May and in June, was recognized at a village board meeting with a (surprise) Lifetime Achievement Award from Heartland Blood Centers. Each year now, the September drive honors the victims of 9/11, and the November drive is in Mueller's memory. For Bauer, the bottom line is collecting blood donations, one pint of which can save up to three lives. From 1988 through December 2017, the village has collected 14,086 pints of blood through 160 blood drives, with a total deferral of 2,891 individuals who, for some reason, were not able to donate during a blood drive. Heartland Blood Centers says that January has been proclaimed National Volunteer Blood Donor Month since 1970, in part because "It's the time of year that presents the most challenges in recruiting groups to host blood drives at their location — changing weather, busy schedules and even the winter blues all play a factor. "Yet, our need for blood doesn't decrease and winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood." Heartland figures indicate that there is a need for 600 blood donors every day to cover over 70 Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana hospitals. The organization has seen a 30-percent decline in blood drive sponsorships, however. In fact, Bauer passed along what sounds like an urgent plea to blood drive organizers from Michelle Robinson, president of Heartland Blood Centers, in which she states, "As the President of Heartland Blood Centers, I am reaching out today to make you aware of some obstacles we are facing that have affected our blood supply. The recent frigid temperatures and winter illnesses have impacted our blood donor base causing mobile blood drives to experience low donor turnout. "In the midst of these conditions patients are still counting on us to provide them with these lifesaving blood products. It is important that you pass this message on to your organization and potential donors." Bauer has set a goal of collecting 218 pints of blood "to kick off 2018," and said she encourages groups — businesses, organizations, medical offices, school staff, etc. — to "piggyback" off the village drives by holding friendly competition challenges to see who, among staff or departments, can donate the most blood at one of the two Jan. 17 drives. When asked why she continues to coordinate the blood drives after so many years, the coordinator responded simply, "It's about saving lives." "We've proven that it does. People still need blood," she added. The Jan. 17 blood drives will be held from 1:30-7 p.m. at the Lombard Village Hall, 255 E. Wilson; and at Yorktown Center from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Heartland Mobile Coach, which will be parked outside Entrance 5 between Von Maur and The Eatery. Donors will receive a coupon for a free bowl (up to $13) from Noodles and Company, and also will get a coupon for a free pint of Culver's Frozen Custard. Donors will be entered into a raffle to win a Yorktown Center Gift Card. Potential donors can sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or contact Bauer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 630-620-5712. The other 2018 blood drives will be held on Wednesdays, April 11, June 20, Sept. 12 and Nov. 14.