WILMINGTON, Del. – The mission on Friday night was to get at least four people to successfully donate whole blood on the M1 Bloodmobile parked at Frawley Stadium for the Wilmington Blue Rocks game and fireworks night.

It was the old park and pray method, which the Blood Bank of Delmarva brass wanted in order to spark collections. 

Director, Human Resources Steve Corse told Blood Collection Techs Julia Seichepine and Daisy Tannen that he would produce a good surprise, a prize if you will, for them if they made or surpassed goal. Julia and Daisy along with Supervisor, Collections Gilroy Jack and Bloodmobile Driver Ty McCall did just that as seven donors came in, with one deferral. Delmar the Bloodhound  – BBD’s beloved mascot – joined us as well.

In addition, Daisy, Julia and Delmar the Bloodhound did a number of Facebook live videos with Communications Specialist Tony Prado to drum up interest and raise awareness about the need for blood donations coming off a slower than normal summer. In a word, it was great to move on from summer and celebrate the first day of meteorological autumn on a crisp, cool Friday, September 1.

“We’re doing a park and pray at Frawley Stadium, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks,” Daisy said in one of the videos. “Thanks again to them for letting us be here…Come out and save some lives.”

Added Julia in her video, “Were out here with my friend, Delmar the Bloodhound at the Blue Rocks’ stadium. Come and out join us. The kids love Delmar.”

Most of the donors that came in were Wilmington Blue Rocks employees, including Sarah Coughlin, Steve Burdick, J.P. Rodriguez and Tom Smith.

“I work for the Blue Rocks. You were in the parking lot, and I was in the parking lot,” Tom said. “Friday night fireworks is usually a big draw for us.”

For Sarah, this was the first time she donated since Concord High School, where she graduated from in 2020.

“I was working, and they said you needed people,” she said. “I love it. I think it’s great. The thought that you could save someone’s life and potentially help someone in need is really a great concept.”

“My boss, Blue Rocks General Manager Liz Welch, asked us to donate,” J.P. said. “I’m a pheresis donor, and this [donating whole blood] gives me a break.” 

The draw also drew a few local residents, such as Nikki Hudson.

“I always donate blood,” Nikki said. “And it’s the right thing to do. If I needed blood, I would want it.”

“That’s a great answer,” Daisy told Nikki.

Daisy also convinced friends Latavia Todd and Almetrice Thompson to come out. Nice going.

Thank you, everyone, for working overtime on Friday night. And thank you to Angela and Noel Williamson, who work part-time for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Angela was instrumental in talking to Liza and getting us on the grounds of Frawley Stadium.

Special thanks also go to Technical Specialist Amanda Miller for visiting us at Frawley Stadium.

To end the night, the Blue Rocks gave us tickets, and Gil, Daisy, Julia and Tony watched the end of the Blue Rocks 3-2 win over the Yankees farmhand team, Hudson Valley, and we watched the fireworks show as well as Ty drove the M1 Bloodmobile back to Dover. It was spectacular.

This and the park and prayer scheduled for Saturday, September 2 at St. Mary Magdalen Church, came about after a meeting held by New York Blood Center Enterprises Senior Vice President Patty Killeen and HR Director Steve Corse with Director, Donor Resources Nicole Pineault, Director, Donor/Product Services (North) Megan Johnson, Director, Donor Services (South) Paige McIlvain, Supervisor, Fleet Paul Kuloszewski, Calendar Specialist Jamie Serrano and Tony. We’ll try to get more pop ups on the books.

Last but not least, this was a good way to start National Blood Collectors, which began Friday, September 1, and lasts through Thursday, September 7.