As the band Chicago once sang, “Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July.”

Actually, the Fourth of July was on Tuesday this year and here at the Blood Bank of Delmarva, four of our five donor centers were open for this critical collections period.

At the Christiana Donor Center, we actually had an amalgamation of the Concord and Christiana staffs, and we had a blast taking pictures with donors and volunteers.

Concord Supervisor Donna Livesay, a Blood Collection Tech IV, led the staff that included Concord Blood Collection Techs Danielle Hilton-Osbourne and Lia Mercer and Christiana Blood Collection Techs Tiffany Vannatter, D’Mani Truitt, Leena Dalton, Jania Harris, Savannah Geiger, Julia Seichepine and Daisy Tannen.

Christiana had a total of 54 donors while there were another 43 donors at Dover, Dagsboro and Salisbury. That kept the Component Lab day shift, led by Lead Tech Merisa Hernandez, busy with help from Lead Hospital Services Coordinator Will Norris. Lead Tech Taylor Ladd came in later to lead the evening shift.

Among the donors was Bill Smith, who with his blue bandage and red and white hat was looking rather patriotic on America’s Independence Day.

“It’s the one day I’m off this week,” Bill said. “I called up and said, you’re not open on Tuesday are you? They said, yes. I said, sign me up!”

Whole blood donor Beverlea Cale, meanwhile, wore a dress fashioned unto the likeness of Old Glory. The only person who rivaled her on Tuesday was Donor Scheduler Steven Saffer who worked in the canteen in his American flag, button-down shirt.

“I come every eight weeks; I’m a lifer,” Beverlea said. “I think I’m over eight gallons now. I look for my name on the TV [in the lobby] but I haven’t seen it yet.”

Across from Bev, Chrysostomos Karakasis donated whole blood with Julia.

“I was my time donate, and today was a good day to donate because the gym was closed,” Chrys said.

In apheresis, Tracey Connolly donated platelets on the Fourth of July with Leena.

“I didn’t have barbecue plans,” Tracey said. “I come in at least once a month. Everybody’s really nice too.”

Across from Tracey, Kenneth Watson donated platelets with D’Mani. This was Kenneth’s first time donating in apheresis! He seemed to do okay, and D’Mani encouraged him to come back soon.

Back in whole blood, Venkata Dhullipala donated with Lia.

“It was my time to donate,” Venkata said.

“You can put down [in your article], Fourth of July does not stop our donors!” Lia said.

Indeed, Jeffrey McElwee said it was a good reason to donate today.

“It’s a pleasure. It’s nice to do some good when you can,” Jeffrey said, as he donated with Danielle. “There’s not much to do today anyway but eat.”

Thank you, sir, and thanks to all our donors and volunteers for working on Happy Independence Day, an important time to save lives.