DOVER, Del. – The 18th annual 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive held by Dover Motor Speedway at Bally’s Dover Casino rallied for 32 donors wishing to observe this solemn event in a powerful way.

Initially, Blood Bank of Delmarva Director, Donor Resources Nicole Pineault and Account Manager clawed our way to 27 appointments, but a social media push by NYBCe’s Tara Carlson and her team on Monday, September 11 seemed to bring in a few more donors. Thanks for the support, team!

Per tradition, WBOC Delmarva’s News Leader also covered the story, giving BBD much needed publicity. Intrepid reporter Kristina DeRobertis and cameraman Lenny Schnee to Bally’s covered the draw, and Krissy almost donated for the first time as well. However, Supervisor Madeline Hernandez let her know that she needed her license or state photo ID as a first-time donor.

Krissy says she’ll keep that in mind for the next time. In the meantime, she interviewed Communcations Specialist Tony Prado and double red cell donor Erin Pieshala.

“It doesn’t feel any different than a regular blood donation,” Erin told Krissy of her A.R. procedure. “It just takes a little more time. You can sit back, relax.”

Among other comments, Tony thanked Dover Motor Speedway for hosting the 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive at Bally’s Dover Casino, per tradition.

“People don’t just want to just observe it, they want to do something powerful,” Tony said, describing the importance of this draw.

This blood drive has traditionally drawn more than 100 people at times, but this year’s event was not immune to the general lack of blood donors that has been endemic throughout Delmarva and the United States, for that matter. 

Diehard donors such as Randy Siegfried and Julianne Shockley still showed up, though.

“I try to do this every year,” Julianne said as she donated double reds with Maddie.

Randy, meanwhile, donated whole blood with Blood Collection Tech Tee Ramos.

Local resident Shane Breakie was back as well. He also donated double red cells.

“It’s become kind of a tradition for me,” he said.

Cheryl Goddess moved to Delaware in 2016 and found this Dover Motor Speedway event a couple of years later. 

“A girlfriend of mine had an uncle who died during the 9/11 attacks,” Cheryl said. “This is very important to me. I’ll be here every year.”

Craig Blocker drove up from Sussex County, Delaware, for the blood drive in Kent County

“Yes, sir, I do what I can,” Craig said.

The same goes for Mike Hyland.

“I just want to donate. It’s 9/11, man,” Mike said.

That goes for Val and Tom Giorno as well.

“We try to do what we can do,” Tom said. “It helps.”

Although Krissy was not able to donate for the first time, guess who did? Sal Watson!

This was not the first time Sal has show up for this blood drive, but this was the first time her hemoglobin was high enough to donate. She was excited, and we were too.

And, of course, Dover Motor Speedway employees such as Amy Brenner donated as well.

Thank you, Amy, and thank you to all our donors. Special thanks goes to our hardworking staff as well.