When you become a donor of any sort it means that you are thinking of someone other than yourself and Ronald “Tiger” Rossi lives by this statement on a daily basis. Tiger is a blood, marrow and philanthropic donor.
Tiger began donating when a couple of his close friends were in a terrible boating accident. His friends needed blood products so the doctor asked if friends and family members could donate for them. Without any hesitation, Tiger and his friends went to our old G Street location to donate blood. “I always wanted to donate but, this incident gave me a reason to start and to keep donating,” explained Tiger.
Now, Tiger has donated 18 gallons, “as long as I am healthy, I will continue to give and hopefully I will pass the great donors, George Kimm and Emery Barnes,” said Tiger. Tiger has had many memorable moments at the blood bank. Tiger was the first donor at our first mobile at Liberty High School and also at Frontier High School. Tiger is a supportive parent and he wanted to show his children how easy it was to make a difference in someone’s life.
A few years ago, Tiger registered to become a bone marrow donor because he was inspired by Mikella McAuley’s story, “her grandfather was my UPS deliveryman and he was raising awareness and I wanted to help give another tomorrow for patient’s like Mikella.” Fast forward to 2013, Tiger became a bone morrow donor on Father’s Day. He helped gave a 67 year old another chance at life. “It is always a great feeling when you receive thank you letters from recipients. This proves to me that wow, I am a superhero and I do save lives,” Tiger said.
Besides being a super donor, Tiger enjoys spending time with his family and he is heavily involved with the CSU Bakersfield’s Athletic Department. Tiger encourages others to donate,” I am an every 8 week blood donor and when I can’t donate, especially knowing that a child needs help, it makes me upset. That’s why I hope that someone can take my place or cover for people that can’t donate, to give the gift of life.”
Donors will receive a coupon for a free dessert with entree purchase during the entire month of November at The Bull Shed Bar and Grill. Established in Bakersfield in 2010, the business is located in The Hotel Rosedale at 2400 Camino Del Rio Ct. It is the “home of great times”, and dedicated to the country atmosphere/lifestyle. From country line dance lessons to karaoke, monthly events, daily specials and a fun happy hour, there is something for everyone to enjoy at The Bull Shed Bar and Grill.
Angel Gonzalez, Co-owner of The Bull Shed Bar and Grill is enthusiastic about this new partnership, ” I always want to give back to the community in any way possible, and Houchin Community Blood Bank’s services are vital to the health of local families. So we welcome this great opportunity to partner with them,” explained Angel. Ada Denton, Public Relations Specialist for the Bull Shed Bar and Grill is grateful for the partnership because she is thankful for the lifesaving resources that the blood bank has provided to her family. “I donate with my family, because my grandma had multiple accidents that made her need platelets and blood and so without blood donors, my grandma wouldn’t have had a second chance,” said Ada.
We hope November donors will enjoy their free dessert when trying out this local restaurant and night spot, which is family friendly until 10 pm.
In honor of Veterans Day, Kern River Blue Star Moms will be hosting a blood drive from November 10 through November 15, 2014. Both donor centers will serve as collection points for goods to go into care packages for our troops currently serving overseas. These care packages symbolizes “a taste of home” to sons and daughters serving around the world.
According to Candace Masias, Vice President of the Kern River Blue Star Moms, ” the Kern River Blue Star Moms is committed to serving our community and supporting a blood drive is a great way to raise awareness about the need for donors.” Blue Star Moms are the mothers of current service members of all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, or whose children are veterans. There will be boxes at each donor center to collect personal care and snack items. Print the full shopping list here. Just bring your contributions during the drive to either donor center to honor all those serving our nation today. There will be an evening social at our Bolthouse Donor center on Thursday, November 13 from 4 pm to 7 pm featuring delicious food from Bull Shed Bar and Grill. In addition, those donating on Tuesday, November 11 will be entered to win a $100 gasoline gift card from JOSCO VacuSweep.
Kern River Blue Star Moms is our local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. The purpose of the organization and its chapters is to share pride, devotion and the worries associated with having sons and daughters serving in the military. Not only does Blue Star Moms provide support for active duty service personnel, they promote patriotism, assist veterans organizations, and are available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong. To sign up or for more information please contact Candace Macias at 661-706-4265.
Between October 6 and 11, 2014 blood donors can enter to win 2 VIP tickets to Bakersfield’s best adult Halloween party at the Marriott on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Scary for Charity benefits the Jamison Center and Kern Partnership for Children & Families.The fun includes a costume contest, themed appetizers and cocktails, dancing and an exciting silent auction all to benefit foster youth in our community. This year’s theme is “Zombie Apocalypse” so dress up in your best zombie gear!
The Partnership links businesses, the community, and the Kern County Department of Human Services together to meet the needs of low-income and foster children in Kern County. The Partnership serves as the nonprofit umbrella for the Jamison Children’s Center providing shelter to children removed due to abuse or neglect. It is the only 24-hour emergency shelter and protective custody facility in Kern County. Scary for Charity helps raise funds to support these youth through an outstanding over-21 evening of Halloween fun each year. Wouldn’t you like to go?
Gloria, Ashley and Amanda Saffell started giving blood just a few short years ago, but between the three of them, they will have given 5 gallons before this year is up! It all started when the youngest Ashley donated at her High School in Kern River Valley. From then on, Ashley was a dedicated blood donor. One day, Ashley showed up at the community drive in Kern River Valley to donate, and brought her mom, Gloria. After they went to their local Burger King to redeem the free Whopper coupon from the Houchin blood drive, they called up Amanda. They all laughed as they recalled that conversation, “Free Whopper! I’m so there!”, said Amanda.
So naturally a competition emerged! Currently, Gloria is in the lead, assisted by the fact that both girls have had a baby since they began donating (donors are not eligible while pregnant, or until released by their doctor). Both Ashley and Amanda returned after their babies were born, and have donated more than a gallon, while Gloria’s next donation will make 2 gallons for her.
They all agreed that their motivation for donating is the friends and family that have needed blood products because of car accidents, and Gloria’s husband who suffers from a brain tumor. They calculated that between the three of them, they are responsible for bringing at least 10 new donors to the Kern River Valley Blood Drives! Amanda summed it up well, “it’s a very valid charity that doesn’t cost anything, but is a great way to give back!”
Donating blood is a simple gift that enriches the life of the recipient as well as the person giving it and give the gift that keeps on giving on the Sweetest Day! Sweetest Day is always observed on the third Saturday in October. This year it falls on Saturday, October 18 and we are partnering with De Coeur Bake Shop to celebrate with some sweet treats!
De Coeur Bake Shop is a local bakery owned by Mai Giffard. In French, “De Coeur” means “from the heart/of the heart” so having this partnership is natural. Mai is excited about the partnership, “I am excited to partner with our local blood bank because I admire how much of a positive impact Houchin Community Blood Bank has on the community as well as their engagement with their donors.” De Coeur Bake Shop will be providing delicious scones from 8 am – 10 am and mini macarons from 10 am – 2 pm or while supplies last on Saturday, October 18th at both donor centers. Donors will also receive a special coupon from De Coeur Bake Shop.
John Blacksill works the graveyard shift at Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream Co. but does not use that as an excuse for him not to come in and donate. “There are no excuses, if you really want to do something, then you will always find a way,” said John. He is especially excited that we have a new special program for AB donors. ” I use to donate platelets and plasma through the TRIMA system however, it took me 2 and half hours to finish my donation. But with the new AB plasma only program, it only takes me 45 minutes,” said John. With the extra time he gained, John is able to spend more time with his family and to sleep.
John donated a gallon of whole blood before converting to TRIMA. He began donating in college because “it was for the betterment of my community. There is a daily need to make a lifesaving donation so that others who need it, can have a second chance,” said John.
When John found out he was a good candidate for plasma, he was enthusiastic to know his AB platelets and plasma are universally accepted by patients of all blood types. His is the type most often ordered by doctors for fragile newborns and other trauma situations. “Knowing that the population doesn’t necessarily need my blood donation that often, the new plasma program has given AB donors like myself, a new reason to give and help even more patients,” explained John.
Besides donating, John enjoys creating stained glass windows, spending time with his family and watching football. He especially enjoys watching his son play football for San Jose State. John encourages others to donate, ” it’s a good way to be a service to others and it doesn’t take a long time.”