By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
Last week, the American Red Cross and the St. Louis Rams came together for their 14th annual blood drive—and fans and donors alike joined them in droves.
Held at The Heights in Richmond Heights, the two organizations set a goal of collecting 171 pints of blood through the drive. By the end of the day, donors surpassed that goal by reaching 185 total pints--an amount that will save hundreds of lives in the St. Louis area.
“For the past 14 years we’ve been fortunate enough to partner with the fantastic organization that is the St. Louis Rams in hosting a blood drive that ultimately is going to help save lives,” said Dan Fox, communications manager with the American Red Cross. “For every donation we collect here, every pint of blood can help save up to three lives. So we’re here encouraging the St. Louis community to give that gift of life.”
Rams defensive end
“During this holiday time, the demand is the same, but a lot of times the donations drop off a bit,” said Long. “So it’s a great time to come down here and to thank and encourage these folks that are taking time out of their day to give blood because you never know how many lives you could be saving or who’s life you could be saving, so it’s a big deal,” said Long.
Fans played Rams trivia and other games for the chance to win tickets to an upcoming Rams game and Rams items were auctioned off throughout the day. Each donor was also provided with snacks and a specially designed Rams t-shirt.
Rampage got in on the fun by playing nurse to a few of the more apprehensive patients, and Rams cheerleader Sophia stepped up and donated blood with her teammate Sarah cheering her on.
With everyone lending support, Long realizes the unique impact he can make to enhance an event. “Anytime I can get out and get behind a great cause that’s a lot bigger than football and a lot bigger than myself is a big deal,” said Long. “As the St. Louis Rams we have a platform so it’s our responsibility to get behind these things we care about.”