News Releases


There's Only One Spirit of America Blood Drive


MIS blood drive honors heroes, victims of 9-11


There’s only one Spirit of America blood drive.

Michigan International Speedway continues its amazing and heartfelt tradition of the Spirit of America blood drive on Wednesday, September 11. The event serves as a special day of activities to honor and remember the victims and heroes of 9-11.

And it only takes place at Michigan International Speedway.

The annual blood drive at the racetrack began as a tribute in 2002 in honor of the victims and heroes of 9-11. Since its inception in 2002, the Spirit of America blood drive has collected more than 8,876 pints of blood, positively affecting more than 26,688 lives.

The Spirit of America has evolved into more than just a blood drive. It’s an event and a time of reflection – all at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.

“The Spirit of America is one of the most incredible events we will host all year,” said Roger Curtis, track president. “It has evolved out of a simple need to want to do something for 9-11 into a meaningful, heartfelt and truly good thing to do with our community. This event is unique to MIS, and the only place anywhere where the experience while here is as awesome as the act of donating blood itself.”

To participate in the commemorative tribute and behind the scenes MIS experience, donors must have an appointment. Appointments are limited to 600 guests between 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be made online through:  or the Spirit of America website,

Appointments are also available by calling 1-866-miblood (866-642-5663). New donors are welcome. Donors may bring one non-donating person with them.

MIS has partnered with Michigan Blood, a nonprofit, community service organization founded in 1955, to host the blood drive and Be the Match® Registry drive.

Those who attempt to donate will have the opportunity to travel by MIS tram around the track, through the tunnel to the pits, and into MIS’s Home of the Brave, a 4,000-square-foot multi-media exhibit featuring “as it happened videos,” Presidential letters, magazines and newspapers, and additional tributes.

Donors will also be treated to a lunch by CP Federal Credit Union in the Champions Club overlooking the track.

In addition to lunch, the track tour and Heroes Hall experience, all donors will receive a Spirit of America gift bag, pin, t-shirt and commemorative item. During lunch, donors can also learn more about and join the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be the Match® Registry affiliated with Michigan Blood, and the Gift of Life Organ Donation Program.

At the conclusion of the tour, donors will get an up-close view of more than 3,000 American flags proudly displayed at Unity Field to honor the victims of 9-11. The flags, each representing victims of the 9-11 attacks, are placed in the speedway’s Lot 10 by veterans from local American Legion chapters.

Anyone may come to Unity Field. Only blood donors with scheduled appointments will receive the track and museum tours, gift bag and lunch.

To donate, you must be 17 years old (16 with written parent’s/guardian’s consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and pass the health screening.  You also may not have donated whole blood within the past 56 days of attempting to donate. Blood donors should bring photo ID (or two forms of non-photo ID).

For additional information on donating blood, check out


About Michigan International Speedway

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time at NASCAR’s fastest racetrack for race fans and drivers alike. 


Be Somebody, Bring Somebody

Invite new members to the lifesaving club of blood donors

Sometimes, all it takes is an invitation. If it’s a friend or family member doing the asking chances of getting a “yes” are even greater. This month, Michigan Blood is inviting blood donors to bring someone new into the lifesaving club. It’s all part of the Be Somebody ... Bring Somebody event, going on statewide at Michigan Blood donor centers August 27th through the 30th. 

As a non-profit independent community blood bank, Michigan Blood counts on voluntary donors to make sure enough blood is available to help patients at more than 40 Michigan hospitals. More than 120,000 units of blood must be collected each year to fill the need. Still, many potential blood donors in communities across the state tell us one of the main reasons they haven’t stepped up to help meet the need is simply because they’ve never been asked. 

Eileen Pawlicki recently invited her 16-year-old daughter along to donate for the first time at Michigan Blood’s Kalamazoo area donor center. Savannah Pawlicki-Mason says when her mom called to say she was going to donate, she didn’t hesitate to go along. “It’s one of the easiest ways to give back, and it’s not something you can make in a lab” says Savannah. She added “it was a fun experience that I’m looking forward to donating again.”

During the Be Somebody ... Bring Somebody campaign both current and new donors to Michigan Blood will receive a Michigan Blood Club T-shirt.  Returning donors who bring along someone new to Michigan Blood will not only get the shirt, but a chance to win an adventure package from one of four popular family-fun destinations, thanks to generous donations from:

  • Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Water Park (Frankenmuth, MI):  Splashtastic Getaway Package for family of four, includes two nights lodging,  waterpark passes, Zehnder’s all you can eat chicken dinner, (2) breakfast buffets and one “pizza party”  

  • Frederic Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Grand Rapids):  Family membership, plus two tickets to any concert in the 2014 outdoor concert series

  • Great Wolf Lodge (Traverse City): One night in family suite, 4 water park passes

Dates and times vary by donor center location:

Grand Rapids, 1036 Fuller NE
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, August 27-29: 8 am – 7 pm
Friday, August 30: 8 am – 4 pm

Grandville Donor Center, Grandville United Methodist Church, 3140 Wilson Avenue
Wednesday and Thursday, August 28 & 29: 10 am – 7 pm

Kalamazoo Area Donor Center, 524 E. Milham, Portage
Wednesday August 28 and Thursday 29: 11am-7pm
Friday, August 30: 8am-4pm

Saint Joseph Donor Center, 2710 Cleveland Avenue
Tuesday, August 27: 11 am – 7 pm

Saginaw Donor Center, 1771 Tittabawassee Road
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday August 27-29: 8 am – 7 pm
Friday, August 30: 8 am – 3:30 pm 

Bay City Donor Center, 1017 North Johnson
Wednesday and Thursday, August 28 & 29: 12 -7 pm
Friday, August 30: 8 am – 3:30 pm

Dow Diamond Donor Center, 825 Main Street
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, August 27-30:  7:30 am – 3 pm

Midland Donor Center at MidMichigan Medical Center, 4005 Orchard Drive
Tuesday, August 27: 12-7 pm
Friday, August 30: 8 am – 3:30 pm 

Traverse City Donor Center, 2575 Aero Park Drive
Tuesday and Thursday, August 27 & 29, 10:30 am – 6 pm
Wednesday and Friday, August 28 & 30: 8 am – 3:30 pm

Appointments are recommended for donor convenience.

Walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, call 1-866-miblood (642-5663) or click

Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to give blood every 56 days.  Blood donors should bring photo ID (or two forms of non-photo ID). For additional information on donating blood, check out


Michigan Blood Partners With Bennigan's to Boost Blood Supply

Michigan Blood in Saginaw is partnering with Bennigan’s to help boost the blood supply during a time of high need.

On Friday, August 16, every person who attempts to donate blood at Michigan Blood’s Saginaw Donor Center will receive a $5 off Bennigan’s coupon. The coupon is valid for an entrée purchase at Bennigan’s in Saginaw. Donors can donate from 8 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. at the Saginaw Donor Center, 1771 Tittabawasee in Saginaw.

“We at Bennigan’s are delighted to support the volunteer blood donors at Michigan Blood, especially knowing that the blood supports Michigan hospitals like St. Mary’s of Michigan and Covenant HealthCare here in Saginaw,” said Honey Forcier, general manager at Bennigan’s.

Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to give blood every 56 days. Blood donors should bring photo ID (or two forms of non-photo ID). Appointments (preferred, but not required) can be scheduled online at or by calling 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663).

In Saginaw, Michigan Blood is the exclusive nonprofit blood provider for Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan.


Michigan Blood Partners with Unity Christian Music Festival

August 8-10, 2013 Blood Drive to benefit
Unity Christian Ministry Nonprofit Partners


The Unity Christian Music Festival is pleased to announce its partnership with Michigan Blood for the 2013 Festival to be held at the Heritage Landing Waterfront in Muskegon. Michigan Blood will be hosting cause-based blood drives on August 8, 9, and 10th, from 12 pm – 7 pm on the Festival Grounds. For each eligible person who attempts to donate blood, Michigan Blood will donate $10 to one of Unity Christian Ministry Nonprofit Partners, plus donors will get their choice of $3 in Unity food coupons or an Autograph Speed Pass that moves them to the front of the autograph line for the artist of their choice.

The Unity Christian Music Festival is the flagship event of Muskegon, Michigan based non-profit Alive on the Lakeshore. Each year the Unity Christian Music Festival partners with other Christian-based non-profits.  This year’s partner ministries include: Bridge to Life, First Priority of Muskegon, First Priority of the Lakeshore, Grand Rapids/Holland/Muskegon-Youth for Christ, Holland Rescue Mission, Lakeshore Pregnancy Centers, Love INC of Muskegon County, Muskegon Community Radio, Muskegon Pregnancy Services, Muskegon Rescue Mission, Nazarene Community Resource Center, and West Michigan Teen Challenge.  The festival will is a faith-based, nondenominational event featuring Christian rock groups, a 5K run, Praise Choir, and children’s’ activities, including The Unity Train, Kiddie Pillar Obstacle Course, Bounce House, Duplo Blocks, carnival games with prizes, a special pinball tent, and more. Featured bands include Casting Crowns, Hillsong Live, Jeremy Camp, Matthew West and dozens more on the Main Stage.  For ticket information, check out:

To donate, you must be 17 years old (16 with parent’s/guardian’s consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, and pass the health screening. You also may not have donated whole blood within the past 56 days of attempting to donate. Potential donors that are 16 years old should read the information provided on the Michigan Blood website and bring the completed minor consent form with them to the festival. Blood donors should bring photo ID (or two forms of non-photo ID). For additional information on donating blood, check out


Midland Center For The Arts Partners With Great Lakes Loons

In the spirit of Center Stage Theatre’s season opener, “Dracula, the Musical,” Midland Center for the Arts has challenged the Great Lakes Loons to see whose followers can donate more blood to Michigan Blood from July 22 through August 16, 2013.

“I am excited that Midland Center for the Arts and the Great Lakes Loons have this opportunity to engage in some friendly competition for such a good cause,” says MCFTA President/CEO and Michigan Baseball Foundation board member Mike Hayes.  “Donated blood helps save the lives of 4.5 million Americans each year, and it was recently reported that June 2013 donations were lower than expected, on top of Michigan Blood experiencing its usual summer decline in donations.  I hope our region responds by rolling up their sleeves and giving blood.”

Bill Rietscha, President and CEO of Michigan Blood, echoes Hayes’ comments:

"Michigan Blood is thrilled to join forces with the Loons and the Midland Center for the Arts for such a fun, creative event. We greatly appreciate the initiative and support of the community in helping secure a safe and adequate blood supply for MidMichigan Medical Center and our more than 40 Michigan hospital partners.  Summer is challenging as 22% of our donations come from high schools and colleges, and many are not in session. Families also are busy enjoying summer activities, but the need for blood never takes a vacation.  One in 7 hospital patients need blood due to trauma, chronic illness, premature birth, or fighting the effects of cancer treatment.”  

When signing in, donors must mention they are donating for Midland Center for the Arts or the Great Lakes Loons.  Each participating donor will be included in a drawing to win a prize package of Loons and MCFTA items, including 4 Loons vouchers, a first pitch opportunity, 4 tickets to see “Dracula:  the Musical” on October 5, an autographed poster from the cast, 4 drink vouchers for the Saints & Sinners Lounge & a private dinner for 4 at the Loons stadium prior to the show!  Results of the contest will be announced at Dow Diamond during Midland Center for the Arts’ “Salute to the Arts” on August 20, with the President/CEO of the organization that tallies the fewer donors participating in a fun on-field contest.

Michigan Blood’s Dow Diamond donation center is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Its MidMichigan Medical Center donation facility is open Tuesdays from noon to 7 p.m., Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and August 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Additionally, Midland Center for the Arts will also host an on-site blood drive on Tuesday, August 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

To schedule an appointment with Michigan Blood, call 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663), or click

Center Stage Theatre is one of the most successful and exciting community theatre companies in the Midwest. Center Stage Theatre continues to present high quality plays, musical theatre, children’s theatre, and programs of community service, theatre classes and workshops in the Great Lakes Bay Region.  Member of the American Association of Community Theatre.

Midland Center for the Arts, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation formed under the laws of the State of Michigan incorporating six groups: Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, Center Stage Choirs, Center Stage Theatre, MATRIX:MIDLAND, Midland County Historical Society, and Midland Symphony Orchestra. Activities at Midland Center for the Arts are supported in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. For the latest Center news, visit our web site at

Watch a promotional video here.