Blood drive unites local radio stations

Local residents can feel the beat of music while saving lives Saturday at the first DJs Unite for LifeSouth event, featuring local DJs from Magic 101.3, 106.9 I Am County, Classic Hits 100.9, 100.5 the Buzz, R&B 94.1 and the Shepherd Network.

The radio stations will broadcast live on location at the LifeSouth Donor Center at 4039 Newberry Rd. from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday.

Visitors can drop by anytime to listen to the music, meet their favorite DJs, potentially win two tickets to Universal Orlando and, of course, donate blood.

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Donors will receive a free commemorative T-shirt and should remember to bring photo ID.

Vinny Foo, program director for Magic 101.3, R&B 94.1 and 100.5 the Buzz, said DJs Unite for LifeSouth will be a first for the radio stations.

These stations compete in the same market and almost never mention other stations by name, especially on the air. But, for the event, the DJs recorded promotions together and aired them on their respective stations.

Vinny Foo, program director for Magic 101.3

“We’re throwing out the radio playbook to do something huge for the community,” Foo said.

The timing for the event is critical too.

Laura Bialeck, district community development coordinator for LifeSouth, said summertime always pressures local blood banks. Local residents leave for vacation and can’t give blood, and high schools, which supply 15-20 percent of the annual blood supply, are on break.

“We’re hoping for 100 donors, which is a very lofty goal that would far exceed anything that we’ve ever done before,” Bialeck said in a phone interview.

While receiving 100 pints from 100 donors will help, Bialeck said blood banks need that same number every day to keep levels at a good place. Currently, donors are coming in at half the rate needed.

Summer months not only bring decreased donations but increased need for blood. Increased travel and summer activities typically means more medical accidents.

And as the nation emerges from the pandemic, doctors are performing more elective surgeries that were paused during the last year, requiring even more blood.

LifeSouth restarted blood drive events in February, but supplies have remained low. During an on air interview with Larry Wilson at 106.9 I Am County, Bialeck said the nation has been in a blood shortage for months and can’t seem to crawl out of it.

Larry Wilson, 106.9 I Am Country DJ

“Keeping the local blood supply at a safe level, that is everyone’s responsibility in the community,” Bialeck said. “This is making sure that the blood is there for your family, your friends, your neighbors and your coworkers.”

With Universal Orlando tickets on the line, music and T-shirts, Bialeck hopes the DJs Unite for LifeSouth will draw in plenty of local citizens.

“It’s just going to be a fun time out there,” Bialeck said. “How could it not with all those DJs?”

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