Summer Drive to Save Lives Finalists

Congratulations to Sylvia Llamas!

Blood donor Sylvia Llamas of Tolleson has been announced the winner of a 2016 Passat S in United Blood Services “Summer Drive to Save Lives” Volkswagen raffle.  She was among the 48,291 donors who gave blood June 1 – August 31 and were automatically entered to win during the summer campaign to increase blood donations.  Ten finalists were drawn and gathered Wednesday morning for the Grand Prize Ceremony at United Blood Services headquarters.  Llamas drove away the proud winner of a 2016 Volkswagen Passat S and a hero to Arizona hospital patients!

winner-collageLlamas garnered her spot in the grand prize ceremony when she gave blood on Aug. 4 at the Southwest Gas 43rd Avenue blood drive.  In addition to being a 12-time blood donor, Llamas has also served on the blood drive committee at Southwest Gas.  Her passion for donating blood comes from her co-workers who have been recipients of lifesaving transfusions.  “Donating blood is a little thing for me, but a big thing for a patient,” she expressed.  She was especially moved to learn that her August donation went to help save a patient in a West Valley hospital.  A truly selfless person, upon starting the winning Volkswagen, her first thought was how winning would benefit others.  “Imagine how this is going to help our blood drives,” exclaimed Llamas, “we are going to get so many more donors!”



June 1 – 22 Finalist:  Michele Brovelli (Fountain Hills), Fountain Hills Noon Kiwanis Community Blood Drive
When first-time donor Michele Brovelli saw the Fountain Hills Noon Kiwanis blood drive advertised in the newspaper, she rushed right down to give blood.  She had always wanted to donate, especially since one of her friends had required lifesaving blood transfusions. Michele works as a cashier at Safeway and was excited to be the first of our 10 finalists, especially since she drives a 20-year-old car.

2-finalist-june-23-july-18-terry-millerJune 23 – July 18 Finalist:  Terry Miller (Chandler), Chandler Donor Center
Platelet donor Terry Miller started giving blood with his Army unit in the early 1970s.  He knew people who required transfusions while he was serving our country.  Terry believes that giving blood is the right thing to do, and as such, he has donated 92 times. “It is an easy thing to do.  Once you get started, you won’t quit!”  Terry is a retired lineman from Salt River Project.

3-finalist-july-19-aug-9-sandra-teri-gomezJuly 19 – August 9 Finalist: Sandra “Teri” Gomez (Tempe), Scottsdale Donor Center
Three-time whole blood donor Teri Gomez has never known anyone who needed a blood transfusion, but believes it is her duty to help other people.  She says it makes her feel good to do something selfless and help someone who can benefit from her blood.  So, she drove to the Scottsdale Donor Center on July 20 and rolled up her sleeve.  Teri is a Phoenix native with two teenage sons who works at Discover Card in the Fraud Prevention Department.  She is hoping to pick case #7 at the Volkswagen Grand Prize Ceremony – her favorite number because she was born on the 7th day of February.

4-finalist-aug-10-31-teresa-hancockAugust 10 – 31 Finalist:  Teresa Hancock (Tempe), Banner Desert Medical Center Blood Drive
Teresa likes to commemorate significant dates in her life by donating blood and she has done so 17 times.  She gave blood on September 11th in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks and on the anniversary of the date she donated one of her kidneys to a stranger.  Teresa garnered her finalist spot in the Volkswagen grand prize ceremony by giving blood on Aug. 24 in celebration of the third anniversary of her first date with her husband. Teresa works as a medical case manager and donates when she sees onsite blood drives during her patient visits – this time at the Banner Desert Medical Center.

5-finalist-save-az-keith-hallSpecial Event Finalist:  Keith Hall (Phoenix), Saving Arizona Blood Drive
Keith Hall became a dedicated platelet donor when his father was diagnosed with cancer and required transfusions five years ago.  Since then, he his has given 66 times!  Keith works a policy specialist for the Arizona Family Assistance Administration.  He donated on July 3 at the Saving Arizona blood drive after he saw a story on 12News about severe blood needs over the Independence Day holiday.  “I can donate, it doesn’t take that much time and it makes you feel good that you are helping people!” 

6-finalist-max-donor-norman-kincadeMAX Donor Finalist:  Norman Kincade (Mesa), Mesa Donor Center
Our MAX finalist is Norman Kincade, a 95-time donor who gave Power Red at the Mesa Center on Aug. 26.  He first became a donor as a teenager at his work-sponsored blood drives and has given two to three times a year ever since.  Knowing that his O-positive blood is transfusable for most patients, Norman is pleased that he can help the most with his double red cell donations.  Norman is married with two grown sons and retired from the City of Phoenix as an electrician. 

7-finalist-teen-donor-elizabeth-schumacher-2Teen Donor Finalist:  Elizabeth Schumacher (Phoenix), St. Paul Catholic Church
Volkswagen teen finalist Elizabeth Schumacher has already donated nine times and was first inspired to give blood when she found her grandfather’s gallon pins representing his years of dedication as a blood donor.  A recent graduate of North Canyon High School in Phoenix, she garnered her finalist spot when she donated at the St. Paul Catholic Church blood drive on July 24.  So was so excited about being drawn as a finalist that she rushed to the Motor Vehicle Department the next business day to get her learner’s permit to drive so she could qualify.

8-finalist-goal-making-coordinator-rachelle-jonesGoal-Making Coordinator Finalist:  Rachelle Jones (Phoenix), Cigna Healthcare Blood Drive
Cigna Healthcare blood drive coordinator and Volkswagen finalist Rachelle Jones is passionate about making a difference for Arizona patients because both of her parents have relied on lifesaving blood transfusions.  Her name was drawn from among the 552 coordinators that achieved their blood drive goal this summer.  Rachelle works as a supervisor in the Cigna Enrollment Department.  She holds a master’s degree in Public Health and hopes to become a physicians’ assistant one day.

9-finalist-bonus-online-sylvia-llamas-2Bonus Online Entry Finalist:  Sylvia Llamas (Tolleson), Southwest Gas 43rd Ave. Blood Drive
When 12-time donor Sylvia Llamas started working for Southwest Gas, she volunteered to serve on their blood drive committee.  She was motivated by the people she met who had depended on lifesaving transfusions, including a fellow employee who needed blood after having a stroke.  “It makes me feel proud because it is helping people,” Sylvia said.  “It’s a little thing for me, but it is a big thing for a patient!”  Sylvia is a representative in the Corrosion Department for Southwest Gas.

10-finalist-bonus-showroom-terence-welsh-2Bonus VW Showroom Finalist:  Terence Welsh (Gilbert), Chandler Donor Center
Terence Welsh likes to set a good example for his daughter, so he gave blood for the first time earlier this year and encouraged Morgan to donate at her Highland High School spring blood drive.   Both excited at the chance to win a new Volkswagen, Terrance and Morgan made a date to donate again, this time together at the Chandler Donor Center on Aug. 24.  A few days later, Terence deposited his Bonus Entry Card in the raffle box at Berge Volkswagen and his name was drawn from among 2,402 entries!