Sam Bieno Memorial Blood Drive Will Go On

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Sam Bieno Memorial Blood Drive will go on, with a number of safeguards being added to meet current social distancing guidelines and ensure the safety of donors.

The drive, which is held annually to honor Sam, who died in April of 2015 at age 22, will be moved from the hospital to the large conference room at Best Western Hotel & Conference Center in Portage and will be stretched out over three days, April 14-16, this year.

Sam's kindness touched everyone who knew her. When she was diagnosed with leukemia, the generosity of blood donors helped her endure grueling treatment. A marrow donor's selfless gift also gave her more time with loved ones. Sam's spirit continues to inspire others to help those in need. 

Need for Blood is Urgent

The need for blood is especially urgent right now. Versiti-Blood Center of Wisconsin, which supplies blood to Divine Savior and co-sponsors our blood drives, said pleas for people to stay home in recent weeks in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 have resulted in a significant decline in scheduled appointments, an increase in "no shows," and a large number of canceled appointments.

Wisconsin's public health officials are supporting the continuation of blood donation at this time, as maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to health care in our communities. 

Safeguards in Place

The changes to the drive this year should ensure that everyone can spread out and maintain 6 feet of space in waiting areas and the cafe. Donation chairs will also be at least 6 feet apart and/or separated with medical screens.

To lessen the number of people in the waiting areas, all donors are encouraged to make appointments. Other precautions are also planned, including taking temperatures of donors and donor-facing staff, enhanced cleaning of all equipment, beds, and other surfaces at the end of each donation, and maintaining a sanitized pen bin so donors are only using clean pens at sign in. 

Walk-ins will be seen as group size allows. If appointment registration congestion occurs, donors will be asked to leave a cell phone number and will be texted when their appointment is ready. For more information about safeguards in place for the drive, visit https://www.versiti.org/home/coronavirus-information. 

The drive is sponsored by the Bieno family, Divine Savior Healthcare and Versiti.



Tuesday, April 14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Wednesday, April 15, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Thursday, April 16, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

WHERE: Best Western Hotel & Conference Center, Large Room, 2701 County Road CX, Portage, WI

TO REGISTER: Call 877-232-4376


All donors will receive a gift bag. One lucky bag with $100 in Chamber bucks in it will be given out each day of the blood drive. Donors will also receive a Mt. Olympus coupon -- one coupon admits four people for free! 

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