September Donor-Sky Plotner

IMG_0159Many 15 year old’s think about getting their driver’s license when they turn 16, but Sky Plotner was thinking about saving a life. She began to talk blood donation over with her mother. “I told my mother what it was, what the qualifications were, and that I needed her permission.” On her 16th birthday she began to donate blood at Liberty High School.

Sky is a member of our Gallon Grad Club.The letter of recommendation that students get when they reach the gallon mark can be used for school and job applications. “I found it helpful when applying to schools for the fall, Sky says.”

Sky is interested in doing something more to save lives. She has her heart set on doing automate donation on our Trima machines so she can donate platelets for cancer patients and plasma for burn victims. She likes the fact she will be able to donate these products more often throughout the year. “It might take a little longer but, it’s a little extra something that I can do to help someone’s life.”

She donates on a regular basis because, “it makes me happy to save someone’s life.” When it comes to donating, “I believe that if you are eligible you should get in and donate.” Although Sky donates on a regular basis, she learned something new recently. “I always thought that the blood went from me straight to the other person. I didn’t know that so much went into providing the blood for someone else.”

In her spare time, Sky likes to read mysteries, watch her favorite shows on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, and travel to Arizona to visit family. We are proud to have this fine young lady as a dedicated donor!

September Donor Can Win Spree!

ShoppingWe all know the drill, back to school means buying lots of new stuff from clothes to electronics and everything in between. So it makes perfect sense that the Executives’ Association of Kern County (EAKC) 30/30 Drawing for September is a $500 Valley Plaza Shopping Spree, compliments of  Baldwin-Georgeton Insurance Agency, Inc. Each month throughout 2014 member businesses are offering a donor prize in honor of EAKC’s 30th Anniversary.

Baldwin-Georgenton Insurance Agency is a full service Health and Life Insurance Firm serving the community for over 75 years. Baldwin-Georgenton Insurance Agency is staffed by knowledgeable professionals, specializing in employee benefits, claims services and administration practices. 

Georgenton InsuranceBaldwin-Georgenton Insurance Agency is run by founder Bill Georgenton’s daughter Tamara Georgenton and son Bill Georgenton, Jr. Tamara is very active in the local community. She serves on the Board of Religious Education at St. Philips and she is active in the Junior League of Bakersfield and EAKC. Both Tamara and Bill continue their father’s legacy of serving the community by sharing their knowledge of insurance and financial services, and responding to their client’s challenges with real world solutions. We appreciate their support of blood donation in our community with this great drawing prize!

To enter to win this great prize, all you have to do is donate blood, platelets or plasma during September; no drawing slips necessary! To find out more about the EAKC 30/30 monthly prize drawing during 2014 click here.



Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

rhabdo Ben

Diane “had NO idea, until her son Ben was diagnosed with cancer last year, that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We want to help others, and raising awareness will do that,” she says.

Childhood CancerTo make more people aware of childhood cancer, Diane is organizing a Facing Ben’s Giant Celebration and Childhood Cancer Awareness Event on September 1, 2014 at Mondavi Park, 601 Mondavi Way in Bakersfield, from 11 am to 3 pm. The event will feature free food, bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, characters like Snow White and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, music, games, and a Gold Balloon Release sponsored by Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center. Gold is the awareness color for childhood cancer. This is a great way to spend a part of Labor Day and everyone is invited to participate. Stop by to say hello at our booth.  We’ll have special activities for the kids and gold ribbon give-a-ways to encourage blood donation during the month.

GIANTSLAYERBen and his family began their fight against his cancer “giant” at the beginning of June last year, when Ben noticed a little pea sized bump on top of his left foot by his big toe.  He thought he’d been bitten by a spider. Diane continues: “We’ll fast forward to the day he went in for surgery to drain what the doctor thought was a hematoma.  At the time of the surgery on August 28th, it had increased to the size of an egg.  After surgery, it grew even bigger.  On September 3, 2013, Ben was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.  He immediately started on intense chemotherapy and had six weeks of high dose radiation on his left foot, and on his left groin where they had found rogue cancer cells.  His last dose of chemotherapy was on June 30, 2014.  And we got clear scans in July.  Although he’ll have to have scans every three months, we are believing good things.”

Diane continues, “Now, it’s our mission to raise public awareness about childhood cancer.  Less than 4% of funding goes to children’s cancer research, which is why our kids receive antiquated drugs, and is a big reason why many children relapse within the first five years.  If they live past that five years cancer free, they are at a higher risk to get Kids get cancer toodiagnosed with a secondary cancer due to the treatments.  So the question I ask is, How do we know how to fix a problem, if we don’t know one exists?  Now we do know, and so we want to change the way our kids receive treatment.”

Although Ben did not receive blood products as part of his treatments, Diane saw many children in need of them during their hospital stays and doctor visits. That is why Diane wants to refer people to us so that they can donate blood in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!  Look for our blood donation information and goodie bags for participants at the event, and if you donate in September remember the life you help save might be that of a childhood cancer patient. 


Pint for a Pass Returns

PrintThe Kern County Fair will partner with Houchin Community Blood Bank on a third annual Pint for a Pass Blood Drive, from August 18 to September 14, 2014. Four thousand FREE adult admission passes to the Best in the West Kern County Fair will be distributed to blood donors at the donor centers and on mobile drives.  The passes were wildly successful with donors the last two years, increasing blood supplies at a time when inventories are traditionally low.  One lucky winner during the drive will win our grand prize give away of an adult pass four pack plus four wristbands to the fair. Call 661-616-2505 or click here for an appointment to donate during the drive.

SONY DSCThe 2014 fair runs from September 17 to 28, and as always, it will feature outstanding entertainment, fabulous food, thrilling rides, fascinating exhibits, and fun for the entire family.

“This partnership is a natural because of the rich history and deep roots of both organizations in Kern County”, said Greg Gallion, President and CEO of the blood bank. “Both of us are dedicated to serving the needs of Kern County citizens”, he added. According to Mike Olcott, CEO of the Kern County Fair: “It is great to partner with the blood bank to help them fill their need, and to give people in our community an opportunity to come to the Kern County Fair.  Working with the community is important to us.”

GregOur own President and CEO, Greg Gallion is being recognized as Fair Person of the Year.

“Everyone loves the great Kern County Fair, so we are thrilled to be able to offer our donors a free pass again this year. The passes really helped us motivate new and repeat donors the past two years at a time when back to school activities are pulling donors in other directions. We are sure this year’s Pint for a Pass Blood Drive will be just as successful”, says Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin.

Give Twice this Summer!

2013 Twice is Nice1There is still time to pledge to take the Twice as Nice Pledge 2 Give this summer if you have given at least once since May 1, 2014. The goal of the Twice as Nice Campaign is to encourage people to Pledge 2 Give twice between May 1 and September 30 each year so we can keep our blood supply steady to meet patient needs throughout the season. Donors who keep their two donation pledge will be entered into a drawing to win a fabulous computer. To qualify, you must give once by August 5 then again by September 30 and sign up for the drawing below.


One lucky donor will win this fabulous HP Pavilion 15t Touchscreen Laptop!

Dedicated donors last year noticed that three donations could be made from May 1 to Septemeber 30, so this year we are recognize those who are Thrice as Nice! Donors who give three times this summer, will have two chances to win the HD touchscreen laptop pictured, which features BeatsAudio with Dual Speakers, Windows 8/1, a webcam and disc slot for movies and games.

Two qualify for two chances on the laptop your first donation had to be made between May 1 to June 10, and the second by August 5. The final donation is due by September 30. The random drawing will be made from those pledging below after September 30.

So pledge today using the form below: