Condors Suite Prize for September

Condors vs StocktonIt’s almost hockey season in CondorsTown, so the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Prize for September is exclusive use of a suite for 12-18 people during the opening days of the new Condors season in October or November. The Bakersfield Condors will host the Stockton Heat on Dignity Health Home Ice at Rabobank Arena in preseason action on Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. The Condors home opener will be Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. The exact suite is subject to availability based on the game chosen, but there are a number of great suite options.

Condors LogoCondors hockey offers exciting American Hockey League action at every game. The Condors are the top development team of the Edmonton Oilers, with the very best prospects playing right here in Bakersfield. Stats from last season include:

  • Final record: 31-28-7-2, 5th place, Pacific Division
  • Condors to play in the NHL: 17
  • Number of 1st round draft picks to play in Bakersfield: 5
  • Largest crowd: 8,212 on Nov. 28

Condors CommunityThe Condors have established deep roots in the community. A Wounded Hero is honored at every home game, provide game experiences for at risk youth, and offer programs that reward good attendance and grades for students. The Condors have raised over $5 million in cash, goods and services over the team’s history. The organization is part of the fabric of our community, with mascots and players participating in events throughout the year.

Visit one of our donor centers or mobile drives in September to enter to enter to win your very own AHL hockey party, and cheer on the Bakersfield Condors as they continue to make their mark on the AHL. For an updated Condors game schedule click here.

Missing Type Campaign

Every second three people across the world receive a life changing blood transfusion. For this reason, Houchin Community Blood Bank is uniting with blood donor organizations across 21 countries for the Missing Type Campaign. The campaign will run from August 16-21, 2016. It highlights an almost 30% drop in people becoming blood donors compared to a decade ago worldwide. Reversing this trend is crucial to meeting daily patient needs.

Pint for a Pass Missing TypeThroughout the campaign, the letters of the main blood groups, As, Bs and Os, will disappear in everyday and iconic locations around the world.  Kern County businesses and personalities are welcome to join in all week by removing these letters from their brand or name and posting it online with #MissingType through Sunday, August 21, 2016.

2016KernCountyFairlogoThe Kern County Fair is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2016 by kicking off the annual Pint for a Pass Blood Drive this week, and is providing a free admission pass to each donor. Donors at both Bakersfield donor centers and at the following mobile drives will receive the fair admission pass and have the opportunity to take a photo of themselves for posting on social media with a #MissingType sign to show solidarity with this international campaign.

  • Tuesday, August 16           Tehachapi Community                    12 noon – 6:00 pm        Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 329 South Mill Street, Tehachapi
  • Wednesday, August 17      Ridgecrest Community                   12 noon – 6:00 pm        Kerr McGee Center, 100 W. California, Ridgecrest
  • Thursday, August 18           Delano Regional Medical              11:15 am – 4:00 pm     1401 Garces Highway, Delano
  • Friday, August 19                Home Depot – Gosford                    9:00 am – 1:00 pm  4700 Gosford Road, Bakersfield
  • Saturday, August 20           Milan Institute                                  10:00 am – 2:00 pm  2822 F Street, Bakersfield
  • Sunday, August 21             St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church     8:30 am – 12 noon 12300 Reina Road, Bakersfield

Hours at the Bakersfield Donor Centers are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 am to 6 pm, Thursday 11 am to 7 pm, and Saturday 8 am to 2 pm. The Truxtun Donor Center is located at 5901 Truxtun Avenue, and the Bolthouse Donor Center is at 11515 Bolthouse Drive.

Missing type 3In Kern County there is a particular ongoing need for O+ and O- blood donors, and donors of any blood type for platelet donations.  Donors who do not know their blood type are always welcome. New donors will receive a donor card with their blood type and additional information about what patients most need from them after their first donation.

The Missing Type Campaign, was first held in England and North Wales by NHS Blood and Transplant last year, but has expanded for 2016 to bring together 25 blood services from 21 countries covering one billion of the world’s population. Each blood service is calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for present and future generations.

According to recent research by blood collection services worldwide, key barriers to people becoming donors include:

  • increasing urbanization
  • wider and more exotic travel
  • people have less time to give in an increasingly busy and digital world
  • lack of awareness about the need for more diverse blood donors
  • a rise in the popularity of tattoos

GapsAccording to Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin Community Blood Bank: “We really hope that people living in Kern County will be inspired by the international Missing Type Campaign to start saving lives by becoming blood donors. Blood transfusions save lives and transform health for millions across the world, and right here at home. Patients are dependent on people donating blood, platelets and plasma every day. Whether it is platelets for chemotherapy patients, red cells for blood disorders or burns, plasma to stop bleeding, or a combination of all three to stop bleeding in traumas, blood products are an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare.”

To donate blood you must be 17 years of age, in good health, and weigh 110 pounds. 16 year olds can donate with parental consent.

To learn more about the blood donation process, visit this page or call 661-323-4222. The public can also support the Missing Type Campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #MissingType. For more information call 661-616-2500.

Erskine Fire Thanks

We received the lovely thank you note below from the First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella for the goods we collected and sent their way in the aftermath of the Erskine Fire. Diapers, hygiene items, snacks, camping equipment, clothes, shoes, pet food, books and games were just some of the goods collected and delivered to the church which was on the front line serving evacuees.  We had to cancel our June 28th drive there because all church spaces were completely full of well-organized supplies to serve resident needs.

We look forward to being back for the Lake Isabella Community Blood Drive on August 23rd from 12 noon to 6:00 pm. Thank you to all who donated goods for the fire survivors!



Margaret Delfino Passes Away at 97

Margaret 25 gallons

Margaret was a media sensation when she was the first local woman to donate 25 gallons of blood on June 25, 2009.

Long time blood donor Margaret Delfino passed away recently at 97 years of age after never completely recovering from open heart surgery.

According to her obituary: “Margaret had a passion for donating blood at Houchin Community Blood Bank. She was once featured on CNN when at 90 years old she donated her 200th pint. . . She held the record for most blood donated by a woman in Kern County for many years. As proud as she was of her record she was even prouder at the number of family members and others she coerced into becoming regular donors.”

delfino-gives again

Margaret is welcomed back by CEO Greg Gallion after she beat cancer and was able to donate blood again on December 18, 2006.

The petite donor, who stood just 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed in at 115 pounds, was the first blood donor at the new Bolthouse Donor Center when she was 94. This also marked her last pint donated for a total of 218 donations, for more than 27 gallons in her lifetime.

Margaret celebrated many a landmark donation at Houchin. She was able to give blood again in 2006 following a five-year absence after undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, and it was a press event when she reached the 25 gallon mark at the age of 90. “It’s a testament to her commitment to this community,” CEO Greg Gallion said at the time. “It’s a testament to a remarkable woman.”

Greg Margaret and Carlena

CEO Greg Gallion and Registered Nurse Carlena Russom congratulate Margaret Delfino for being the first donor in the new Bolthouse Donor Center on February 11, 2013.

According to Registered Nurse Carlena Russom, who was on hand to take Delfino’s blood on various big occasions: “Just (her) commitment, the life-long dedication to me it’s just, it’s hard to find these days. She’s just an inspiration.” Margaret began donating prior to 1954.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate blood donations made to Houchin Blood Bank in her memory using Fund Number 771.

All photos from TBC Media.

Hot Fudge Sundae Drive

We have no mobile drives scheduled on Monday, July 25, 2016 to help bring in the 100 pints of blood and 30 units of platelets needed every day to meet patient needs, so it is crucial that donors to come into the two Bakersfield donor centers that day. O+ and O- blood are the biggest needs.

nationalhotfudgesundaydayTo encourage donations, we will be celebrating National Hot Fudge Sundae Day from 9 am to 6 pm at 5901 Truxtun Avenue and 11515 Bolthouse Drive.  All donors will receive a free make your own sundae, and can enter to win a year of Cold Stone Creamery sundaes.  Platelet donors will be given two chances to win the year of sundaes.  Other incentives include a free Olympic themed t-shirt, and a coupon for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza from Rusty’s Pizza.  All July donors are automatically entered to win $500 in Cold Cash from SC Communications, Inc.

“There are so many extra reasons NOT to give blood during the summer months,” said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin. “We have been finding lots of regular donors out of town for vacations, so really need to appeal to people still in town to come in and save lives.”  Only 38% of the population is eligible to give blood and only 10% of those do, so new donors are always encouraged to give blood donation a try.

Blood donors must be in good health, weigh 110 pounds, and be 17 years of age or older, or 16 with parental consent.  A photo ID with date of birth is all that is needed to start saving lives. More information about blood donation is available at 661-323-4222.  Platelet donors must have an appointment, but blood donors can walk in to either donor center.


Erskine Fire Blood Drive

Erskine fire three locationsLake Isabella Blood Drive Relocated in Bakersfield to Seek Replacement Blood and Erskine Fire Recovery Supplies

Our regular blood drive serving the Kern River Valley at the First Baptist Church in Lake Isabella on Tuesday, June 28, has been diverted to Bakersfield because the church is in the forefront of offering care and support to people and animals affected by the Erskine Fire.

It is still crucial to the local blood supply that we collect the blood that the Kern River Valley cannot provide at this time of crisis, so the blood drive has been relocated to 1215 Truxtun Avenue, on the plaza behind and between the Kern County Administrative Center and the County Courts building.  Two-hour public parking is located east of L Street and in the parking garage on N Street. At the event, we will also collect goods needed by the First Baptist Church to continue their work with fire victims.

The public is invited to donate blood and specified goods at these Bakersfield locations:

  • Kern County Administrative Center Mobile, behind 1115 Truxtun Avenue, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Truxtun Donor Center, 5901 Truxtun Avenue, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Bolthouse Donor Center, 11515 Bolthouse Drive, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Houchin will be collecting these items specifically needed by the First Baptist Church to continue their work with people and animals affected by the Erskine Fire.   These items are:

  • pet food, pet toys and pet comfort items including towels
  • shoes
  • baby diapers
  • hygiene items
  • blankets
  • non perishable food
  • blankets, pillows and sleeping bags
  • books, crossword puzzles, games

Donated goods will be transported to the church to aid in the recovery efforts.  Cash donations can also be made payable to the Houchin Community Foundation, which will forward donations to the church for ongoing relief efforts.

Mick GleasonMick Gleason, District 1 Supervisor representing the Kern River Valley affected by the fire, and current Kern County Board of Supervisors Chairman, said the County of Kern Administration Office is pleased to be able to offer a new location for this blood drive.

“I am gratified that Houchin is aiding our efforts to help the victims of this terrible tragedy,” Supervisor Gleason said. “And since Houchin is saving lives every day throughout Kern County, we’re encouraging County employees and anyone else in the community to come to the Administrative Center to give blood or other needed donations.”

We appreciate the County’s willingness to host this displaced drive so our efforts to collect blood in advance of the three day 4th of July holiday can be maximized.

Ashley Furniture Day at Houchin


Donors will receive this awesome Ashley-Sleep memory foam pillow when they donate!

We are proud to partner with the Bakersfield Ashley Furniture HomeStore®  on Saturday, June 25, 2016. This is our fifth blood drive together, and based on prior success, the drive should kick our summer donations up! Although the need for blood never takes a vacation, our donors do and that makes it harder for people to find time to give blood. Special blood drives like this one at Ashley Furniture Homestore® help ensure a stable blood supply to offset this seasonal decline.

The Ashley Furniture HomeStore® mobile blood drive will be held at its Bakersfield location, 8915 Rosedale Highway, from 10 am – 2 pm. Donors there, or at either donor center all day, will receive a coupon for a free Ashley Sleep Contour Pillow and a 25% off coupon for merchandise at the Ashley Furniture Homestore® while supplies last. The pillow coupon must be redeemed at the store. Also at the mobile drive, donors will receive a coupon for a FREE Route 44 Big Drink thanks to Sonic and a buy one, get one free voucher for a Bakersfield Blaze home game courtesy of the Blaze. There’s a convenient Sonic right next to our mobile drive at the Ashley Furniture HomeStore®. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 661-616-2505. You can also make an appointment online.

HomeStoreLogoAshley Furniture has always had a proud sense of its history and the wisdom to know what made it great. Ashley Furniture continues to strive to enhance its communities by working to improve their infrastructure and community services. Locally owned Ashley Furniture HomeStores® are extremely active in their communities supporting many nonprofit organizations. Thank you for supporting ours!

Feel the Beat on World Donor Day

To honor those who “give” around the world, Nexcare Bandages has developed a limited-edition collection of bandages with the theme “Feel the Beat, Give Blood,” featuring five vibrant music and dance-inspired designs reflecting different styles and cultures from around the globe. Packages of the limited-edition bandages will be available at the donor centers and mobile drives from June 13-18 while supplies last in nexcarecelebration of World Blood Donor Day on June 14, 2016. Nexcare is committed to making blood donation a national priority as shown by this annual recognition of blood donors worldwide.

Nexcare’s annual support for World Blood Donor Day is explained in this video. Donors can pledge to give as part of World Blood Donor Day and take part in the effort by using the hashtag #GiveInspires with donation photos posted to social media.  Why not take part in this international effort by taking a selfie in your Olympics themed Houchin summer t-shirt and use the hashtag?  No needles please in your photo submissions.

High School Blood Drive 2016

High School Luncheon 2016 050At the end of each school year, Houchin Community Blood Bank hosts an elegant luncheon to recognize high schools contributing the most blood during the year.  This year the theme of the High School Appreciation Luncheon was “Life’s Sweet”.

The schools are divided into four categories.  Petite, Small, Medium and Large, based on their senior class size.  The Petite school winner was Immanuel Christian High School which collected an average of 45 units with a class size of 4.  Small school winner was Frazier Mountain High School with 194% of their class size participating, collecting a total of 128 units. Medium school winner was Cesar Chavez High School which collected 178 units for 66% of their class size. Large school winner was West High School collecting 119% of their class size with a total of 496 units.

High School Luncheon 2016 068“The Extra Mile Award”, now in its second year, was presented to Stockdale High School, for bringing in 188 donors into the donor centers. The award, sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, was presented by Michael George, Senior Vice President of Operations and Marketing.  Each “Houchin Ambassador” student at Stockdale received a $50.00 gift card from Kern Schools for their efforts. Stockdale High School also won for the most units being donated during the crucial summer months in 2015. 98 donors came into either donor center crediting Stockdale High, and collectively high schools donated 1,107 units at the donor centers.   Over all, high schools came together to hold 56 blood drives, collecting 6,462 units of blood. Their donations possibly saved as many as 19,386 lives. High school blood drives represent over 20% of Houchin’s total blood supply.

Each participating school, received a custom engraved “Life’s Sweet” award and a signature Houchin Community Blood Bank license plate featuring the number of gallons of blood each school has collected in total during their years of participation in the Blood Drive Challenge. The Houchin Ambassadors in each school who organize the drives to gain leadership experience and community service were recognized for their hard work, as were the principals and advisors who make the program so successful.  Elias Daniel Maldonado, a senior from Golden Valley High School, was the key speaker. He spoke from the heart about being an ambassador and how blood donors helped a member of his own family.

High School Luncheon 2016 007Other award presentations were made to community volunteers who assist with the high school mobiles and local businesses who support the high school program including:  Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Yogurtland, McDonalds, Rusty’s Pizza, Wall Street Imprintables, and Sonic Drive In. It was also reported that the Gallon Grad Program, welcomed in 157 students, who met the challenge of donating 8 times to achieve the one gallon mark.  Each received a card to track their donations, license plate frame, key chain and an awesome letter from our CEO at the time their achievement was reached.  Each will be entered to win one of two $250 scholarships provided by Kern Schools. The winners will be notified later in May.

BJs Restaurant Day is Back

WebGet your Pizookie® on Saturday, June 11th! BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be hosting a mobile drive at its Bakersfield location,10750 Stockdale Highway, from noon to 4:00 pm. At the mobile drive, or at either donor center from 8 am to 2 pm, donors will score our free summer t-shirt and a coupon for BJ’s Famous Pizookie® dessert. These coupons are always a real favorite with our donors who know a good thing when they eat it, and believe the opportunity to save lives is all the sweeter with such a special treat!

choc chunk pizookieBJ’s Famous Pizookie® comes in Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, as well as Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter S’mores, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, and Triple Chocolate. There is also a gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pizookie®. These are definitely worth saving room for as each is served warm from the oven and topped with premium ice cream.  Yum!  Don’t miss out on a chance to save lives on BJ’s day at Houchin.