Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids and LaughFest Partnering with Michigan Blood, BCN for Second Year in a Row
Monday, February 17, 2014 at 2:09PM
Laurie Brady - Webmaster

Tyler Lecceadone, Gilda's LaughFest – 800-435-9539 or
Stephanie Beres, Blue Care Network – 313-549-9884 or
Kristen Nauss, PR at Michigan Blood – 616-233-8678 or

Special event blood drives scheduled during LaughFest to benefit Gilda’s Club

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.

Please visit one of the following locations for your chance to save a life, support Gilda’s Club and share some laughter.


Michigan Blood Donor Center
1036 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids
Monday, March 3  •  8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

BCN Cascade Office on the Blood Bus
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  •  12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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


About Gilda’s Club
Gilda's Club Grand Rapids is a free cancer and grief support community of children, adults, families and friends. Its comprehensive program includes education, structured sharing times, networking, lectures, workshops and social activities. Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is the largest and busiest of the 52 affiliates in North America. The organization runs entirely on charitable donations and currently serves more than 10,000 individuals each year at its clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Mich., in various schools and in five community centers. For more information, visit

About Blue Care Network
Blue Care Network of Michigan features award-winning disease management programs and the largest HMO network of physicians and hospitals in the state, with more than 5,000 primary care physicians, 16,000 specialists and most of the state’s leading hospitals. Blue Care Network is the affiliated HMO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit and

Article originally appeared on Michigan Blood (
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