California Roller Derby Blood Drives Draw Record Crowds and Inspire Donors Nationwide

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California roller derby athletes will kick off the state’s largest blood drive series, “Blood for Life,” Aug. 12, in partnership with Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross. A critical shortage in the U.S. Blood Supply has inspired leagues coast to coast to host events modeled after the California roller derby blood drives, powered by local athletes offering photo opportunities, autographs, roller skate buttons, temporary tattoos and $5 Amazon gift cards to attract donors.

Autographs and photo opportunities, cookies and swag will be offered at the most widely attended series of blood drives in California, hosted by Greater Bay Area roller derby leagues in partnership wi

Blood for Life roller derby blood drives create a fantastic atmosphere that inspires new donors, with skaters in uniform, refreshments, giveaways and an all-around good time.

Six Greater Bay Area roller derby leagues and one in the Los Angeles area are partnering with Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross to save lives by kicking off “Blood for Life,” the most widely attended series of blood drives in California, beginning Aug. 12. Blood for Life roller derby blood drives have attracted record crowds and enough donations to save 660 lives annually since 2013 by making community service more convenient and fun. This year, Blood for Life will roll out from coast to coast in an effort to help the American Red Cross attract donors following reports of a critical blood shortage and its emergency appeals for immediate nationwide blood donations, with roller derby athletes nationwide offering autographs, photo opportunities, roller skate buttons, temporary tattoos and $5 Amazon gift cards. New roller derby blood drives will be added to the series regularly; for dates, times and information, visit http://community.brownpapertickets.com/wp/coast-to-coast-roller-derby-blood-drives-kick-off/.

“Summer is always one of the most difficult times for the Red Cross to collect blood, but this year the need is even more urgent than in the past,” said Hanna Malak, a representative from the American Red Cross of Northern California. “Blood for Life roller derby blood drives create a fantastic atmosphere that inspires new donors, with skaters in uniform, refreshments, giveaways and an all-around good time. The athletes are so welcoming, fun and energetic, and there is just a great vibe about it. These events make a difference to ensure that blood is available for patients in need.”

The Blood for Life series was created by Jerry Seltzer, the Sonoma-based son of the inventor of roller derby, and the California blood drive series begins on the eve of the 81st anniversary of the world’s first roller derby bout in 1935. “Community service is written in the charter of every roller derby league, so partnering roller derby with Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross is a match made in heaven,” said Seltzer, who is also a former board member for the American Red Cross of Northern California and currently a representative for Brown Paper Tickets, a Not-Just-for-Profit online ticketing and registration company and the largest ticketing portal for roller derby events worldwide. “We hope that we can double the number of lives saved this year with this coast-to-coast expansion of the blood drives.”

To schedule a convenient appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code: DERBY. Walk-ups are welcome, but appointments are encouraged and recommended.

The California Blood for Life roller derby blood drive series:

Friday, Aug. 12 (Santa Cruz, California): Join the Santa Cruz Derby Girls from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Staff of Life natural foods market, 1266 Soquel Ave.

Friday, Aug. 19 (Livermore, California): Join the Quad City Derby Bombshells from 1-7 p.m. at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave.

August 1-31 (Garden Grove, California): Visit the High Tide Roller Derby Facebook Blood Drive https://www.facebook.com/hightidederby/ for links to set an appointment to donate blood at several Los Angeles area blood drives in August and September. Donors who post selfie photos or videos while giving blood, or who post a photo of themselves donating at least $10 to the Red Cross will be rewarded with a $2 off a ticket to the High Tide Roller Derby game in September.

Saturday, Sept. 24: (Redwood City, California): Join the Peninsula Roller Girls at a time and location to be announced.

TBA: (San Jose, California): Join the Silicon Valley Roller Girls at a date, time and location to be announced.

TBA: (Fremont, California): Join the Bay Area Black Widows at a date, time and location to be announced.

TBA: (Hollister, California): Join the Faultline Derby Devilz at a date, time and location to be announced.

Follow the roller derby blood drives at #bloodforlife. Any roller derby league wishing to bring the Blood for Life roller derby blood drive series to their hometown should email organizers at rollerderbybloodforlife(at)gmail(dot)com.

  •     All giveaway items are provided while supplies last.
  •     Amazon gift cards offered to donors through Aug. 31.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: In-studio or telephone interviews with local roller derby leagues and all people quoted in this story, along with high-resolution photos, video of a Blood for Life roller derby blood drive and more are available. Contact Barb Morgen at rollerderbybloodforlife(at)gmail(dot)com or at 206-883-9093 for assistance.

About the American Red Cross:
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 redcross.org.

About Brown Paper Tickets:
Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com) provides easy, no-cost online event registration and ticketing with the lowest fee for ticket buyers in the live events industry, 24/7 live event concierge service and the strongest commitment to social responsibility in the ticketing industry. The Not-Just-for-Profit company donates 5 percent of the profits from every ticket sold and employs a team of roller derby experts who give free assistance to leagues and play an active role in helping the sport and the roller derby community to continue to grow and thrive.

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Barb Morgen
@BPTickets
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