Local sites offer plenty of options Julie Buehler of Our Lady of Consolation Church (OLC) and School, said Michigan Blood donates $10 to the school’s youth program for every person who attempts to donate blood at the twice-annual blood drives there. This year, a larger-than-normal shortage in blood caused the organization to add another drive. The next opportunity to donate at OLC will be on October 20 from noon to 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments make things run more smoothly. The blood drive is just one of many community events that take place on the church property throughout the year, which makes the church a good community neighbor. About 1,700 families are members and 160 students are enrolled in the school, which is pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. OLC was founded in 1971 as an offshoot of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Belmont. The affiliated churches share many resources, including the nuns of the Consolata Missionary Sisters, who celebrated their 100th year as an order in 2010. The sisters were brought here from Italy in the 1960s by Msgr. Podjeski from their mother house in Turin, Italy. In addition to Belmont, the order has 12 missionaries throughout the world, including parishes in the most impoverished areas of Alabama. The sisters came here, studied for their calling at Aquinas College and then became any number of professionals, from teachers to social workers or nurses. Nancy Prominski and Paul Sobie, who shared this information about the two churches and their missionary sisters, called the Consolata sisters “a wonderful order and a gift from God.” The church works well with Michigan Blood, which keeps local donations right here in West Michigan. While being prepped to give blood, donors are tested for anemia. Blood cells are separated after donation into red and white blood cells. Plasma can be frozen and saved for use at a later date. Surprisingly, CoCo Wheats are an excellent source of iron, which enriches red blood cells. Also useful are broccoli, raisins and grapes. Steffes, who is a regular blood donor, said more people would enjoy giving if they try it once. “It makes you feel really good,” she said of the donation, which can literally be a gift […]
“This is a great community event and a way for our businesses to give back to the community,” said Erin Wallace of Snap Fitness, located in the heart of Belmont business district at Belmont Center Drive. The first Heart of Belmont celebration proved that the business community in Belmont cares tremendously about serving their neighbors and showing how very much the area has to offer in the way of goods, services and business owners who care. Tony Griffin of B.C. Pizza and other organizers used the community celebration as a chance to help others by working with Michigan Blood and holding a community-wide blood drive and national bone marrow registry. Despite a drizzling downpour of rain throughout the event, plenty of residents enjoyed Belmont Grocery’s hotdog, chips and a beverage for a dollar, face-painting, live music, giveaways and more. The Plainfield Fire Department brought out a special truck for tours and demonstrations, and smiles were abundant. “Belmont is easy to overlook, because if you blink you miss it,” said Wallace. “There is so much going on here, though.” She was excited to be part of an event the area business owners will host annually and in her opinion, will continue to grow. “It is exciting. We are establishing our own community and identity.”
Blood drive, free activities highlight many merchants by BETH ALTENA “Remember when I said to expect this group to do big things in the community? This is one of those big things,” said Tony Griffin, owner of BC Pizza in Belmont, referring to his great expectations of the Belmont business community, which he believes is a unique and diverse group that will surprise many. Participants in a first Heart of Belmont family festival and blood drive on Saturday, August 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. should prove his point. Activities take place on the closed street of Belmont Center Drive and in and around the nearby businesses. Although Belmont seems a smallish business community, its members collectively are impressive, and over a dozen merchants and service providers will pitch in to make a day of fun for those who come out to see what Belmont has to offer. Participating stores, salons, restaurants, medical and dental care providers and others will have free giveaways to anyone who donates blood through the Michigan Blood bus. Michigan Blood, in turn, will donate $10 for each donor to local Boy Scout Troop #283. Participants can also be on the National Bone Marrow registry. For those who choose to donate or not, the day has something for everyone, from free health assessments by Snap Fitness, to a car show located at Milestones Child Development Center and organized by Belmont Grocery. All car show participants receive a free small pizza from B.C. Pizza. Invited to sign up ahead of time or at the 10:45 registration are owners of old cars, classic cars, race cars, fast cars and just plain cool cars. Trailside Treats, a seasonal gem tucked away a short jog from the White Pine Trail, will provide music with the live band Retrospect. A bounce house provided by the Blast Factory Eccentric Entertainment will keep the little ones hopping, and massages—free to donors or for a dollar a minute to others—will soothe adults. Griffin said he admires all blood programs, but is really excited about Michigan Blood, because all donations stay in the area. He also explained that donating bone marrow also has the potential to save the life of another person, an amazing gift to be able to […]
Rockford-area residents defied incoming foul weather to donate blood at the Rockford Community Cabin on Monday, Jan. 31. According to Melissa Meitz, donor relations specialist, 60 people signed in and 49 units of blood were donated. This is the equivalent of 147 lives saved. Three residents were first time donors. Meitz reported that many people reached new donor gallon milestones. Elizabeth Hatt, Gary Liggett and Susan Rowe all have donated one gallon of blood for the use of others in need. Susan Clements has reached a total of three gallons donated. Elizabeth Howell has donated a total of four gallons. Todd Galloway has reached an amazing eight gallons donated. Brian McNamara has donated 12 gallons and Charles Burch has donated15 gallons. Michigan Blood and other organizations which run blood drives say winter is a time of great need and supplies can be low due to poor weather conditions. The next Michigan Blood community blood drive is Monday, March 7, at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street in downtown Rockford from noon to 7 p.m.
Bill allows 16-year-olds to give blood Melissa Meitz, Donor Relations Specialist for Michigan Blood, recently announced the results of the blood drive held Monday, Jan. 3, at the Rockford Community Cabin. “It was a great start to 2011,” Meitz reported. She said 67 people signed in and donated a total of 57 units of blood. This allows 171 lives to be saved. One of the donors was giving blood for the first time. Meitz reported that there were several people reaching a milestone of gallons donated. They were Sandra Mellema and Kyle Smoes at one gallon each, Michelle Blystone at two gallons, Gene Birdsall and Ronald Szokowski at three gallons each, Jacqueline Decker and C. Worst at four gallons each, Debra Rinehart with five gallons, and Lauri Calkins reaching nine gallons of blood donated. The next local Michigan Blood blood drives will be at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street, Rockford, on Tuesday, Feb. 8, from noon to 6 p.m. “Also, I am sure you have heard the great news about 16-year-old donors,” Meitz reported. “In December a bill was passed allowing 16-year-olds to donate with parent or guardian permission. Jennifer Granholm signed it in as law at the end of the year, so we are now able to accept 16-year-old donors.” Meitz said Michigan is the 40th state to pass the legislation. “We are really excited about it,” she said. “Now we just have to spread the word.” The permission slip for 16-year-old donors can be found online at miblood.org/donating/donating-blood/16-year-old-donors/:. Michigan Blood is located at 1036 Fuller NE in Grand Rapids.