MIDDLETOWN, Del. – The Town of Middletown Blood Drive was impressive, as usual, as the town booked a whopping 95 donors on Wednesday, May 8, at Volunteer Hose Company.

The blood drive came at a critical time when Blood Bank of Delmarva Vice President Beau Tompkins and Executive Director Steve Corse are trying to ensure BBD hits its collection goal for May.

The blood drive was also likely a precursor of things to come in this fast-growing town.

Kristen Krenzer, public relations officer for Middletown, volunteered in the café during the blood drive. 

“Middletown has been a supporter of the Blood Bank for nearly 20 years, or longer,” Krenzer said. “We’ve been doing these blood drives every summer, and I know we have many employees who even give blood outside of the blood drives. So, giving blood is just a small way that they can give back to the community.”

For instance, Eddie Foster, a carpenter in the Maintenance Department, is a regular donor at blood drives held anywhere in Middletown. For instance, he first donated blood at Two Stones Pub during the summer of 2022 during the Blood for a Brew campaign, and he appreciates the time off that the town gives him for his good deed.

Donors at this drive were happy to hear that Blood Bank of Delmarva will open up its sixth donor center this summer at none other than Dove Run Shopping Center in Middletown. The excitement was palpable among both municipal workers and town residents.

Krenzer noted that BBD’s construction of a new donor center in Middletown makes sense, given the town’s growth. The Town of Middletown now has a population of 24,000, compared to 3,000 when Mayor Kenneth Branner first took office 35 years ago.

“I’m excited that you have the new center coming to Middletown,” Krenzer said. “In addition to employees, the residents have been asking for that for a long time. Middletown is a very giving area.”

Randell Washington from the water and wastewater department donated whole blood on Wednesday. He agreed with Krenzer.

“That’s good. You don’t have to go all the way up to Newark,” Washington said.

Adrienne Miller, of the Permits-Licensing-Inspections Department, was also excited to hear that BBD will open the Middletown Donor Center this summer.

“I think it would be great to be able to have a center in Middletown,” Miller said. “It will be closer, and you won’t have to take a trip up to Newark.”

This blood drive drew about 65 employees from a variety of the Town of Middletown’s departments, including Kevin Lane from electric; Clarence Perkins, from water and wastewater; Detectives Michele Wharton and Brett Lankenau, of police; and Harry Argoe, of parks.

It also attracted local residents.

Middletown resident Diana Jones donated blood for the first time, and she had a good experience.

“It’s something I’ve always thought about. I just haven’t taken the time to do it [until now],” Jones said. “They did blood drives at work [WSFS], and I haven’t been able to do it [there] because of scheduling conflicts.”

Middletown resident Tom Albanese, who donated whole blood, noticed the new Middletown Donor Center being constructed in Dove Run.

“I was wondering when it was going to open,” Albanese said. “Maybe the next time I donate will be there.”

Jones, for her part, added that perhaps she would become a regular donor with a center in Middletown.

BBD leadership believes the new center will be open by August. Stay tuned for more details.