Thanksgiving Blood Donors Hear the Sweet Sound of Saving Lives

Phoenix, Flagstaff & White Mountain Symphonies Thank November Donors with Free Ticket Vouchers

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The holiday season is built on traditions and the annual Thanksgiving symphony partnership is one of United Blood Services most popular.  This year marks the 13th season that The Phoenix Symphony will inspire thousands of people to donate to build Thanksgiving holiday blood supplies by offering a voucher for a free performance.  Being the longest vacation week of the year for many, Thanksgiving has traditionally marked one of the most difficult holidays to meet Arizona patient transfusion needs.  Thanks to the “Sweet Sound of Saving Lives” campaign, United Blood Services has averted a Thanksgiving blood shortage for more than a decade.

While schedules often become more hectic leading up to Thanksgiving, the need for blood is constant.  Arizona patients depend upon nearly 500 blood donors every day, even during the holiday week.  Red blood cells (the most commonly transfused component) have a shelf life of 42 days, so November donors can save lives beyond New Year’s Day. “As we celebrate our health and well-being with family, it is important to remember that patients are relying on a plentiful blood supply so that they can celebrate another holiday with their families as well,” said Audrey Jennings, Regional Center Director for United Blood Services/Arizona.

Since the partnership was first established with The Phoenix Symphony in 2002, the campaign has grown to become one of United Blood Services most popular and has inspired more than 47,000 people to donate blood.  The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra joined the effort in 2004 to thank Northern Arizona Thanksgiving donors.  Six years ago, the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra enthusiastically partnered and expanded the date of their campaign through Dec. 31 to reach people in outlying communities as United Blood Services travels across northeastern Arizona.

Symphonies Bring Music to the Ears of Blood Donors Across Arizona

  • The Phoenix Symphony, Nov. 1 – 30: Metro Phoenix Center MAX* donors (specialized donation procedure)
  • The Phoenix Symphony, Nov. 16 – 30: Metro Phoenix blood drives & all center donors
  • Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 16 – 30: Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Sedona & Winslow blood drives
  • White Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 16 – Dec. 31: Holbrook, Pinetop, Show Low & Springerville-Eagar blood drives

 *Metropolitan Phoenix blood donors can take advantage of the offer the entire month of November by trying an automated MAX donation at any of United Blood Services six Valley donor centers.  MAX donors help United Blood Services better meet the daily needs of Arizona hospital patients by giving the automated donation procedure that is most needed based on their blood type and physical attributes.

maestroThe November symphony partnership with United Blood Services was inspired when The Phoenix Symphony’s late maestro, Hermann Michael, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a disease that affected his body’s ability to produce blood cells.  Doctors treated him with chemotherapy and blood transfusions every few days.  Maestro Michael was grateful that blood was there for him when he needed it and shared his story with the public to inspire increased donations.  “This disease strikes only one person in three million,” he told The Arizona Republic when he was diagnosed in 1999.  “See how special I am?”  Although the maestro succumbed to his blood disease six years later, The Phoenix Symphony’s annual tradition of saving lives every Thanksgiving holiday continues.