BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) — This week marks the annual “Boogie on the Bayou” blood drive hosted by Vitalant, an event facing new challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent interview with NBC Local 33, donor recruitment supervisor Adam Fontenot spoke about how the current crisis has made this year’s blood drive more important than ever.
Fontenot said as surgeries resume and people become more active again, the need for blood in hospitals has increased by 25% compared to previous weeks.
With that in mind, Fontenot said Thursday’s event could not come at a better time.
The “Boogie on the Bayou” blood drive is one of Vitalant’s largest annual events, but because of the pandemic, Fontenot said there’s uncertainty surrounding how many people will take part.
Fontenot said the staff are taking extra precautions to assist in the safety of all donors, which is of top priority during this time.
Potential donors are encouraged to make an appointment. Face coverings are mandatory for all donors and staff. Fontenot said the face mask should cover both the nose and mouth of the donor.
Appointments are accepted from 7 a.m. thru 7 p.m. at the Baton Rouge donation center, 8234 One Calais (the service road at I-10 and Essen Lane). Each donor will receive a t-shirt, a pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a coupon for a free hamburger or honey chicken biscuit from Whataburger, while supplies last.
Boxed lunches will be provided by Jimmy John’s and each donor will be entered to win prizes like a car detail from Gerry Lane’s and one of three $500 Amazon gift cards.