An important milestone for Orange County, Calif.’s blood donating efforts will occur next month on July 5 when Antis Roofing & Waterproofing hosts its 100th blood drive for the American Red Cross.

The reoccurring blood drives began in early 2020 after Antis Founder and CEO Charles Antis learned the Red Cross was facing a critical blood shortage after being forced to cancel thousands of donation events nationwide due to COVID-19 restrictions.

With quarantining and social distancing rules affecting all non-essential workers, companies typically counted on to open their conference rooms for the blood drives had no choice but to demure.

Luckily for the Red Cross, Antis had 6,000 square feet of unused, sanitized office space adjacent to its headquarters and offered it to the Red Cross of Orange County to host a series of blood drives, the company said in a recent news release. 

“There was a genuine concern [that] if we couldn’t figure out locations to hold blood drives, we would be facing another health crisis for hospital patients depending on lifesaving blood transfusions,” Becky Firey, executive director for the Red Cross of Orange County, said. “I cannot stress enough what a lifeline it was to have partners like Antis step forward during that time and open its doors to host blood drives.”

The blood drive schedule continues in the same building three years later. The company said there are usually two to three blood drives each month, with more than 2,400 units of blood collected to date. According to the Red Cross, the volume is enough to save more than 7,000 lives.

Antis decided to make each drive a party to keep up spirits (and blood sugar levels). Enlisting the help of California Love Drop, a unique organization that provides meals, beverages, treats, and more to hospitals, medical centers and other public-support facilities, the Antis blood drive will include hearty lunches of Wahoo burritos and Yogurtland treats for dessert. The campaigns continue to bring out dozens of Antis employees, colleagues and friends.

The July 5, 100th Drive event will include:

  • A California Love Drop lunch with Wahoo’s Fish Taco founder Wing Lam behind the grill
  • Live DJ
  • State Senator Josh Newman (D-29th Dist.) will be on site with his ice cream truck for the event
  • Raffle prize giveaways to donors, including a Red Cross dry bag
  • Super volunteer, worker and donor recognition, including:
  • Dottie Brown, who turns 101 years old this month and has been donating blood for 70 years
  • Irene Iverson, who has been a Red Cross volunteer for 40 years.
  • Kenneth Corron, a 51-year Red Cross employee and Antis blood drive participant since 2020

The Red Cross and Antis have established a strong partnership over the years. Antis President Susan DeGrassi serves on the board, and the company pledges more than $15,000 yearly to Red Cross blood drives and other initiatives. In 2019, Antis was named the American Red Cross Corporate Hero.

The entire Red Cross board plans to attend the event and donate blood. 

“Blood cannot be manufactured or stockpiled,” Firey notes. “It can only be made available through the kindness of blood drive hosts and volunteer donors rolling up a sleeve.”

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