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Carmichael Times

Rocking It to Save Lives

Dec 05, 2023 03:38PM ● By Elise Spleiss

Bloodmobile workers remain in good spirits serving almost 200 donors from all over the county and beyond over the three-day Citrus Heights blood drive. Vitalant staff included: Scott McCombs, Lindsey Peterson, and Bill Hunt. Photo courtesy of Vitalant Communications

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - “Patients don’t take a holiday from needing blood” according to the Vitalant Blood website. Approximately 200 individuals came out to save lives through blood donations during the three-day ‘Rock N Roll Up Your Sleeve’ blood drive at the Marketplace at Birdcage Center from November 23 to November 26. For the 32nd year Vitalant Blood partnered with 98 Rock station to “ensure patients have the blood they need throughout the holiday season.”

Donors arrived from all over the Sacramento area and beyond following the direction of the DJs at 98 Rock. For some who answer the call it’s a family tradition. Dad Adrian Roberts and sons, Anthony and Brian traveled from Merced “because it’s a 98 Rock (blood) drive. It’s been a family tradition.” Anthony started in high school, and they now follow 98 Rock to the donation site.

Adrian Roberts Rock 98 bloodmobile

It’s a family tradition. Dad Adrian Roberts and sons Anthony and Brian traveled from Merced after hearing Rock 98 announce where the Bloodmobile would be during their 32nd holiday blood drive. Photo by Elise Spleiss

bloodmobile blood center

Vitalant Bloodmobiles travel throughout the region to make it easier for donors who cannot make it to the blood centers. Photo by Elise Spleiss

Joining others waiting in line on the chairs lined up across from the bloodmobile, Kelli Caiter, shared that she has a rare blood type (0 negative) so donates when she can. The mobile center makes it easy. Andrea Moe, from Fair Oaks also began donating with her family and has done so for almost a decade. Lately it’s been hard to get an appointment to fit her schedule, so taking advantage of the bloodmobile works for her also.

Vitalant volunteers greeted donors at tables in front of the bloodmobile. Che’la Woodson and Lyne Benson registered donors with appointments as they arrived and put walk-ups on a waiting list. No one is turned away. Woodson, here from the Bay Area, says she loves helping people. This position works perfectly for her as she is in school for phlebotomy and wants to be a part of the donation process so she can “see how it works firsthand.”

Chela Lyne Vitalant

Vitalant volunteers Che’la Woodson and Lyne Benson greet and register volunteers as they arrive to donate at the ‘Rock N Roll Up Your Sleeve’ blood drive at the Marketplace at Birdcage Center. Snacks and hand warmers were offered during the chilly morning. Photo by Elise Spleiss

Benson from Citrus Heights has been with Vitalant for 18 months. She also volunteers at Mercy San Juan Hospital but sees this job as “giving back” in her spare time. Two years ago, she needed two units of blood herself so “if I can’t donate again this helps me give back.”

DJ Joe Brazil is new to 98.5 Rock, owned by Audacy, but is enthusiastic about their work in the community, not only during the holiday blood drives but year-round.

Joe Brazil Rock 98

Rock 98 DJ Joe Brazil is enthusiastic about the work his station is doing to bring in blood donors, along with the other community work the station and its staff and employees do your round. Photo by Elise Spleiss

He says, “We are the voice for the blood drives,” broadcasting actively before and during the events with a lot of giveaways to blood donors. This is the time of year blood drives are held, usually somewhere near Sunrise Mall. Their goal is to get new donors into the blood donation routine, with a demographic of ‘middle age’, 40 years and above. According to Brazil, “the music is a great way to gain exposure” for Vitalant.  The station plays a wide variety of music from the 1990’s to 2000’s rock, now including more Alternative rock including music from Lincoln Park, Imagine Dragons and Beastie Boys. 

In an email Vitalant Communications Manager, Victoria Wolfe, made a very personal appeal with her own story. “Donating blood is a powerful and very personal way to make a difference for others caught in difficult circumstances.”

“I have been that person on the other side of the needle, having needed extraordinary amounts of blood components, especially platelets, to survive leukemia and then be able to mother my young daughters (8 and 10) to adulthood. It is a gift I can never fully repay and one for which I am grateful every day.”

She adds, “This last stretch of the year is the most difficult to collect blood simply because regular donors are busy with holiday events/gatherings, schools are on breaks after final exams, and cold/seasonal flu begins to affect so many. The need for blood makes up a very long list including traumatic injuries from motor vehicle or recreational accidents, gun violence injuries, patients in cancer treatment, mothers with pregnancy-related or childbirth-related complications, burns, heart surgeries and more. Blood transfusions take place every two seconds in the United States.”

Community members will see lots of promotions this time of year as we encourage people to make a difference, donate what only another human can give and receive appreciation items from Vitalant for making time to save lives.

We strive for a 4 to 5-day blood supply but today often face days with 1-2 days only. We count on community members for their generosity and dependability.”

For more information or to make an appointment visit or call 877-258-4825

Visit 98 Rock at