Area DJs to push the tempo at blood drive

The DJs Unite for LifeSouth donation drive returns Saturday, and organizers hope the expanded event draws even more blood.

At its inaugural event last year, DJs Unite for LifeSouth brought in radio listeners from across the region to the LifeSouth Center on Newberry Road in Gainesville and resulted in around 60 donations over a four-hour period, said Laura Bialeck, LifeSouth’s district community development coordinator.   

“[Some] people drove all the way from Cross City,” Bialeck said. “They heard it on the radio, and they came out to donate.”

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But the 2022 event promises to be even bigger with DJs from area radio stations live at three of the North Central Florida donation centers. 

Larry Wilson, a radio host on 106.9 I Am Country and 100.9 Classic Hits, said the DJs are hoping to smash the mark set in 2021 and get at least 100 donors.

“I have been involved with blood drives most of my 40 year radio career and find that continued awareness is key to [getting people to] donate blood now and in the future,” Wilson said.

DJs will be live again at the Newberry Road donor center, 4039 Newberry Road, but also at the Jonesville donor center, 14266 West Newberry Road, and the Lake City donor center, 833 SW State Road 47.

In addition to 106.9 I Am Country and 100.9 Classic Hits, MARC Radio staff from Magic 101.3, R&B 94.1, and 100.5 The Buzz will be involved in the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

DJs Unite for LifeSouth 2022 blood drive poster
DJs Unite for LifeSouth 2022 blood drive poster

Radio personalities Ashtyn Brown, DJ Vinny Foo, and Cam “That Dude,” as well as Wilson aka Livin’ Large Larry, will be at the various locations.

“With our entire MARC Radio programming staff on board to broadcast this marathon blood drive, the LifeSouth brand will be further solidified in listeners’ minds,” Wilson said.

During the event, participants who come by any of those three centers, as well as the donor centers on 13th Street in Gainesville or on Highway 441 in Alachua, can scan a QR code and be entered to win two tickets and a parking pass to Universal Studios. People who stop a North Central Florida LifeSouth Blood Mobiles are also eligible to enter and win.

“The DJ’s Unite For LifeSouth Event is the perfect event to stop by, observe and ask questions of the LifeSouth staff about why to donate and to see if you are a candidate to donate,” Wilson said.

All donors will receive a specially designed event T-shirt and a $20 e-gift card. Dominos Pizza will be provided at all five participating donor centers.

Donors must be 17 years or older, or 16 with parental permission, and have a photo identification. Donors should be in good health and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds.

“We are so excited about it,” Bialeck said. “…The response will be so helpful [with] these blood shortages that we’re seeing right now.”

Bialeck said LifeSouth especially needs O positive, O negative and platelets right now. In addition to an ongoing national blood shortage, local donations go down in the summer because colleges and high schools are out for the summer and families are on vacation.


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