Tucson, Arizona — The Tucson Roadrunners, owned and operated by the Arizona Coyotes, announced today that the team has partnered with Vitalant to host a community blood drive event as part of their Hispanic Heritage Month commitment to the community on Sunday, October 25 from 11 a.m. 4 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center.
In addition, as donors enter the TCC, the Roadrunners will be hosting their first Undie Sunday to collect packaged socks, underwear and other undergarments for all ages to distribute to those in need as the community enters the winter season.
The Roadrunners are also happy to welcome the Pet VIP Therapy teams from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona to the event. They will have their certified therapy animals on site to provide fans safe, unconditional love, and support as they exit the TCC. Come meet these pets and their loving handlers after donating blood.
“It has been such a pleasure during this challenging offseason to still be able to engage with our caring and generous fans to assist the community of Southern Arizona in any way that we all can,” said Roadrunners President Bob Hoffman. “With the community blood drive, Undie Sunday and a visit from our friends at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, this will be another amazing day.”
This will be the second community blood drive hosted by the Roadrunners and Vitalant since July. All donors from the July 1 Roadrunners blood drive can give once again, as enough time has passed to be eligible to give all donation types. Donors are eligible to give whole blood every eight weeks and power red (double red cells) every 16 weeks.
The Tucson Convention Center has implemented policies which require guests to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask at all times. Donors are asked to please make an appointment at www.vitalant.org/roadrunners prior to the event date. The event will be the first held in the venue’s newly renovated Meeting Rooms.
Fans should park in Lot C off of Granada and enter the West Meeting Room doors of the Tucson Convention Center from the Concourse Level, adjacent to the West Breezeway Entrance.
Vitalant is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test indicates if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms. While a positive antibody test does not indicate if someone has COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma and help people who are still recovering from coronavirus infection. Blood donors can log onto their Vitalant confidential donor portal to access test results within two weeks after their donation. For more information, visit vitalant.org/antibodytest.
Convalescent plasma donations are encouraged October 25 at Tucson Arena. The Arizona patient need for convalescent plasma is currently outpacing donations by 44 percent, which is the only FDA-approved antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients who are critically ill in the hospitals. To donate convalescent plasma, recovered COVID-19 patients must meet eligibility requirements, including a prior laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, either by a positive swab test or a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. They must also be symptom-free for at least 28 days and meet all additional FDA requirements for automated plasma donations. Potential convalescent plasma donors should schedule a whole blood appointment at vitalant.org/coyotes. For more information about convalescent plasma donations, visit vitalant.org/COVIDfree.
Almost 60 percent of the Hispanic population has type O blood, which is the universal donor. Type O can be substituted for other blood types in emergency and trauma situations, as well as when shortages of other blood types arise. Be the Match will also be at the blood drive to share information regarding bone marrow matches.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, school and business closures caused the cancellation of over 500 blood drives resulting in the loss of more than 17,000 donations,” said Sid Lewis, Sr. Director of Donor Recruitment for Vitalant’s Southwest Division. “With many schools holding virtual classes or unable to host on-site blood drives, it is not known when the blood drive schedule can return to normal levels. Donors of all blood types are needed to fill the gap, especially O-negative, the universal donor.”
In appreciation for helping during this crucial time for patients, the Roadrunners are expressing their gratitude by providing one of the following to the first 150 donors registered. Items available while supplies last.
- Hockey Stick Bottle Openers
- 2019-2020 Roadrunners Official Game Pucks
- 2019-2020 Team Autographed Game Programs
Vitalant (“Vye-TAL-ent”) is a national community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant’s 800,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year. In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Join the conversation about impacting the lives of others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about Vitalant’s COVID-19 efforts, visit vitalant.org/COVIDfree.
About the Roadrunners
Entering their fifth season as the AHL Affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes, the Roadrunners have welcomed over 500,000 fans to cheer them on at Tucson Convention Center since 2016. As proud members of the Southern Arizona community, the Roadrunners and Roadrunners Give Back, a branch of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, take pride in supporting all community organizations with donations, volunteerism and public appearances by: Executives, Coaches, Players and the team’s Mascot Dusty. On the ice, the Roadrunners have secured Pacific Division Championships in two of their first four seasons. 33 players since 2016 have dressed in games for both the Roadrunners and Coyotes.