Bonfils' Lifesavers awarded


Posted on 05/25/2018

Bonfils Blood Center depends on tens of thousands of individuals and organizations in Colorado to support patient blood and marrow needs in our community and beyond. On May 24, Bonfils honored several individuals and organizations with 2017 Bonfils' Lifesavers awards recognizing their tireless efforts to support patients.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. Last year, more than 76,000 people in our state donated 155,000 units of blood to help as many as 466,000 patients. But it takes more than blood donors to make this happen. Some 900 individual blood drive hosts held just over 2,700 blood drives to make donation more convenient for more Coloradans and to ensure a safe and steady blood supply is available every day of the year. 

In addition, every three minutes someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer and every year, more than 14,000 people from all ethnic backgrounds are diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases who hope for a marrow donor who can make their transplant possible. In 2017, Bonfils' Marrow Program registered 2,431 potential marrow donors from Colorado and Wyoming to the Be The Match Registry® , thanks, in part to the many registrants and marrow registry drive hosts who help bring attention to that cause. 

2017 Outstanding First-Time Blood Drive Host
West Metro Fire Rescue

Working the front lines of emergencies across Jefferson County, West Metro Fire Rescue understands the crucial need to have a safe and ready blood supply at all times. Department leadership jumped into action, quickly answering the call when Bonfils Blood Center announced its first-ever Battle of the Badges, an initiative to recognize Colorado first responders and boost blood donations during the summer, when they can decline by as much as 20 percent. Division Chief Steve Aseltine coordinated West Metro Fire Rescue’s four first-time blood drives at Stations 4, 10, 14 and 16, inviting the community to team up with neighborhood first responders and opening the door to hosting additional blood drives. West Metro Fire’s summer 2017 blood drives not only accounted for 84 lifesaving donations, but their generous cross-functional support proved integral to Battle of the Badges’ overall statewide success.

2017 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
Sarah Fuller and Rachel Macea
Englewood High School

Under the guidance of Sarah Fuller and Rachel Macea, Englewood High School’s twice-annual blood drives are thriving. As co-sponsors of the school’s chapter of National Honor Society (NHS), they cultivate civic engagement every step of the way, from planning logistics to engaging students and faculty, to soliciting in-kind food donations – all of which help ensure a successful experience for everyone involved. Sarah and Rachel’s advocacy and support of campus blood drives are fundamental to advancing Bonfils’ lifesaving cause among first-time donors and future blood donors.

2017 Outstanding Blood Drive Partner
University of Colorado Boulder Staff Council

In a now 45-year partnership with Bonfils Blood Center, University of Colorado Boulder Staff Council-hosted blood drives have contributed more than 35,000 blood donations positively impacting the lives of as many as 107,382 patients in need. Staff Council, an all-volunteer, elected group of campus educators and administrators responsible for employee advocacy and engagement, generously hosts five, three-day blood drives on campus every year. From 2016 to 2017 alone, Staff Council’s volunteer recruiters, campus-wide communications advertising blood drives and logistical and other support grew the number of new donors by 39 percent, pushing the University of Colorado Boulder to become the 2017 top-performing blood drive host of the more than 900 schools, businesses and other organizations that partner with Bonfils.

Blood Drive Rising Star
Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab’s exponential growth in Colorado extends to its support of Bonfils blood drives. For 15 years, Charles Schwab has hosted regular blood drives for its employees, but since moving to and expanding its Colorado employee base at its vast Lone Tree campus in 2014, blood drive participation has doubled and the frequency of blood drives per year has grown as well, making blood donation convenient for more employees every time they are eligible to give. As each of the company’s five annual blood drives continue to exceed expectations, blood drive coordinator Gina Roth and Charles Schwab’s leadership and support allow more employees to embrace blood donation as an easy and impactful way to give back to the community.

Outstanding Marrow Program Partner
Chiquita Cardenas-Felitti

Chiquita Cardenas-Felitti has hosted an annual marrow drive and fundraiser at her Off Broadway Café restaurant in North Denver for the last 6 years. Started as a drive in 2012 to honor Mark Jenkins, a Colorado National Guard sergeant searching for a donor to possibly cure his myelofibrosis, these drives became an annual memorial to Mark after he passed away in January 2013 due to complications from transplant. Since that first drive in 2012, the marrow program has added over 100 people to the Be The Match marrow registry from these annual events at the Off Broadway Café, including adding many members with diverse ancestry. We thank Chiquita for giving back to her community and helping to save lives.

Dr. Ben Galloway Community Partner
The CraftWorks Foundation

Community partnerships help Bonfils Blood Center thank donors for their volunteerism. During National Blood Donor Month in January, in a now three-year tradition, the CraftWorks Foundation provides support to thank donors with a “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” voucher for a free beer or soda at participating Old Chicago, Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch locations. Additionally, Katie Mills, Michelle Jones, and the rest of the CraftWorks team are instrumental in helping spread the word about the importance of blood donation. By promoting Bonfils on its social media platforms and displaying the messaging on posters and digital screens in its restaurants, CraftWorks is helping reach new potential blood donors and expanding awareness in the community.

Outstanding Media Partner

The number one reason people cite for not giving blood is that they were not asked. iHeartMedia is just our type of community partner, helping turn that tide by generously helping grow awareness about Bonfils across the Front Range through annual integrated strategic partnerships. Vice President of Sales Jeremy Troutt played an integral role in helping grow the number of Bonfils donors in 2017 by 12 percent to more than 76,000 with on-air influencer and digital endorsements, social media support and events including a dedicated community blood drive for donors to receive tickets to a private The Wind + the Wave show. 

Special thanks to NewsRadio KOA anchor and Bonfils Ambassador Susan Witkin for emceeing the event and to the owners of Molly Brown’s Avoca Lodge, Mary Shearer and her mother, Jane Fehlmann Garland; Customer Service and Sales Manager Tracy Lodle; Operations Manager Dante Potter and the rest of the staff for their support.