Gilda's Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest Partnering with Michigan Blood, BCN for Third Year In a Row
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 3:34PM
Laurie Brady - Webmaster

Tyler Lecceadone, Gilda's LaughFest – 800-435-9539 or
Kristen Nauss, Community Relations 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 third 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 February 24th, March 2, 3, 4, and 9, 2015.

“We are thankful for this partnership with Michigan Blood and Blue Care Network,” said Erik Wolenberg, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and Gilda’s LaughFest. “Many people on a cancer journey, including Gilda’s Club members, rely on blood product transfusions. Whether someone is inspired to donate blood in honor of a loved one or just to give back, it can make a real difference in the health of those in need. And donations at these drives not only saves lives, they also help support the free 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 $50,000 in community support 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 Amway, the matching partner of the High Five campaign. 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, at LaughFest Central or LaughFest shows, 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 Outreach. “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 limited edition t-shirt and be entered to win LaughFest tickets and merchandise. Please visit one of the following locations for your chance to save a life, support Gilda’s Club and share some laughter.

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 Michigan Blood

Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is a fast growing, independent, non-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids. It provides blood products and services for more than 40 hospitals throughout Michigan and is an established leader in quality and service. Michigan Blood collects more than 120,000 units of blood each year at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,700 mobile blood drives in 37 counties statewide. Michigan Blood has a nationally recognized stem cell (marrow) program and created Michigan’s first public cord blood bank. In addition, Michigan Blood provides therapeutic apheresis, cellular therapies for the treatment of cancer and transfusion medicine consultations. For more information, visit

About Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

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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