Blood drives to benefit cancer patients during LaughFest

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- It's often said laughter is the best medicine. Unfortunately for many, laughter simply isn't enough. So for the second year in a row, Gilda's Club Grand Rapids (GCGR) and LaughFest are partnering with Michigan Blood and Blue Care Network to host blood drives during LaughFest. The drives will be held on March 3, 4, 5 and 10, 2014.

"We are thankful for this partnership with Michigan Blood and Blue Care Network," said Erik Wolenberg, manager of marketing and public relations for GCGR and Gilda's LaughFest. "Many cancer patients rely on blood product transfusions, and donating blood is a great way for loved ones, and even complete strangers, to make a real difference in the health of patients in need. Their donation not only saves lives, it also supports programs at Gilda's Club for children living with cancer or grief, and for in-school emotional health programs."

For every person that donates blood, Blue Care Network (BCN) will donate $10 towards LaughFest's High Five campaign, which aims to raise $100,000 to benefit GCGR's children's cancer, grief, and in school emotional health programs. Each $10 donation made by BCN will be matched dollar-for-dollar by High Five's sponsor companies: Terryberry, Feyen Zylstra, Pioneer Construction, Eenhoorn, and American International Foods. Individuals interested in donating directly to the "High Five" campaign may do so by purchasing a button at a participating restaurant or business in West Michigan, or by donating at

"We're happy once again to sponsor LaughFest and Gilda's Club through these blood drives," said Jessica Iloff, manager, BCN Community Responsibility. "There is a substantial need for blood donations in the community and these events will allow us to raise awareness, donate to an important cause and provide blood to those who need it most."

Donors will also receive a t-shirt and High Five button, along with a chance to win tickets to see Lily Tomlin, Chris Tucker, and other hilarious LaughFest shows.

The drives are underway at these locations and times:

Michigan Blood Donor Center

1036 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids

Monday, March 3

8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

BCN Cascade Office

Blood Mobile

611 Cascade West Pkwy SE, Grand Rapids

Tuesday, March 4

7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

King Memorial Youth Center

225 S. Hudson St., Lowell

Wednesday, March 5

Monday, March 10

12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

To donate blood, you must be 17 years of age (16 with parent or guardian consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and pass a health screening. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred for donor convenience. Schedule an appointment by calling 1-866-642-5663 or visit


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