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In honor of January National Blood Donor Month, community leaders will join Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin on Tuesday, Jan. 7 for a telethon to encourage blood donation.

Versiti will transform part of its Milwaukee donor center (638 N. 18th St.) into a telethon phone bank on Jan. 7. Versiti and community leaders are asking Wisconsinites to call the phone bank at 1-877-BE-A-HERO and pledge three lifesaving donations—one appointment in January, and two additional for the year ahead. The goal is to schedule 1,000 appointments on Jan. 7 to ensure a sufficient blood supply for the coming weeks and months.

Coming off of the busy holiday season, January is historically a very difficult month for blood donations. Seasonal illness and inclement weather also contribute to the drop.

As champions of the community, area leaders—including Milwaukee Brewers Manager Craig Counsell, Children’s Hospital Wisconsin CEO Peggy Troy, and Marquette University President Michael Lovell—are volunteering their time at the telethon location to speak on the impact of blood donation to the community and why it’s important for Wisconsin residents to give back and help patients in need:

  • Dave Margolis, M.D., director of the bone marrow transplant program at Children’s Hospital Wisconsin
  • Peggy Troy, CEO of Children’s Hospital Wisconsin
  • Alfonso Morales, Milwaukee police chief
  • Michael Lovell, Ph.D., president of Marquette University
  • Kathleen O’Leary, CEO of Wisconsin State Fair
  • Judge Derek Mosley of Milwaukee Municipal Court
  • Ralph Schlass, principal of West Bend West High School
  • Craig Counsell, manager of the Milwaukee Brewers
  • Brian Bautista, COO of Versiti
  • Matt Wolter, loyal blood donor; Elodie Ontala, Mallory Wiest and Dawn Marisch, recipients of lifesaving blood donations

Versiti is the sole provider of blood products to every hospital in southeast Wisconsin. The organization relies on the generosity of the community to ensure area hospitals have the blood products they need to save lives each and every day. To pledge three blood donations on Jan. 7, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO.

Facebook Livestream of telethon Community members across the state can watch the telethon on Versiti’s Facebook page (@VersitiBloodCenterofWisconsin). Versiti will livestream intermittent interviews with community leaders on Facebook throughout the day on Jan. 7.