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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: January 10, 2012


NEW CASTLE (Jan. 10, 2012) - AmeriCorps Delaware, Volunteer Delaware and the Blood Bank of Delmarva will commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by celebrating the first statewide hero blood drive during a reception and recognition ceremony at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, at the Christiana Blood Bank of Delmarva.

Tony Allen, communications executive for Bank of America's Consumer and Small Business Bank, will give the keynote address. The Rev. John Moore, a Blood Bank of Delmarva board member and vice president of resource development and strategic partnerships for the United Way of Delaware, will offer a selected recitation from Dr. King's "Drum Major Instinct" speech.

Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, and Roy Roper, CEO of the Blood Bank of Delmarva, will be among other dignitaries who will speak.

AmeriCorps Delaware members, who planned, promoted and organized the blood drive - along with the help of and the Blood Bank of Delmarva - will be recognized for their service. Through a grant received from Youth Service America, the 110 AmeriCorps Delaware members sent out letters to every school in the state asking older children to consider donating and asking young children to advocate to their parents and loved ones to donate. The top school in each county with the most hero cards will be treated to a pizza party by Grotto Pizza.

The statewide call for blood donors also is going out to state agencies, nonprofits, private companies and individuals.

The blood drive's slogan, "What Type of Hero Are you?" is derived from these words from Dr. King, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' " Blood bank officials estimate that one pint of blood can save as many as three lives.

To make an appointment today to give blood during the MLK Day Blood Drive now through Jan. 16, call (888) 8-BLOOD-8 or visit

The Christiana Blood Bank of Delmarva is at 100 Hygeia Drive, Newark.

For press interviews about the blood drive and Monday's reception and recognition ceremony, contact Michael D. Waite, director of marketing & community relations at the Blood Bank of Delmarva, at (302) 737-8405, ext. 732, or Carrie Aiken, external communications coordinator at the blood bank, at (302) 737-8405, ext. 778.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.