Legislator John M. Kennedy and staff measured great success in the number of donations and participants they received at the third annual Bloodfest and Food Drive event on Wednesday.
Held at the North County Complex on Veterans Memorial Highway from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m., 106 people came to donate blood, collecting 96 pints, and 165 pounds of food were donated to the Harry Chapin Food Drive, said legislative aid, Seth Weiss.
“165 pounds of donated food from a one day event is very encouraging,” said Weiss.
Though the amount of blood donated is less than last year’s Bloodfest, which raised 124 pints, Weiss explained that Kennedy is not disappointed. Kennedy brings his blood drive to various events throughout the year where he can get more donors, such as at Nesconset Day, Smithtown Day and other street fairs.
Everyone who came to donate, whether it be food or blood, received free barbeque, donated by Shoprite, King Kullen and Costco, experienced live music supplied by classic rock cover band IT Band and even went home with two free Met’s tickets.
“I really think those perks enticed people to come donate,” said Weiss.
Not every volunteer that came could donate because of certain reasons, such as iron levels, having recent tattoos and not fitting the age requirements. Yet, everyone who did attempt to help out the cause were still given food and baseball tickets for their efforts.
Bloodfest wasn’t all about collecting blood donations, the staff at the event also educated participants about the benefits of giving blood and prepared those who couldn’t donate this year to be able to the next time. According to Weiss, every donation of blood a person makes can save three people, which is why it is so important to be a blood donor.
“Blood banks are at an all time low,” said Weiss. “People don’t really think to do it, but a donation could one day save their life or the life of a loved one.”