Versiti to host donor watch party for Virtual Arts Festival

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Courtesy Festival of the Arts

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is hosting a blood drive in partnership with the virtual Festival of the Arts on Friday.

The Grand Rapids donor center at 1036 Fuller Ave. NE will host a watch party for the Virtual Arts Festival to encourage the community to donate blood and prevent a possible shortage.

The event will be streamed on WoodTV.com on Friday and Saturday and will feature archived performances from the Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids Symphony and more, as well as visual arts and children’s activities.

Instead of watching the performances at home, Versiti wants to encourage residents to come watch with them. The Virtual Arts Festival will be streaming in different spaces at the donor center, and Versiti plans to have food trucks on-site.

Liz Collver, account representative for Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, said the center hopes to receive up to 50 donors. The donor center has the capacity to receive 100, but about half of the appointments have been filled.

“What we’re seeing right now is an urgent need for blood donation,” Collver said. ”We’re not in a shortage right now, but the supplier we have is not meeting the demand for hospitals right now.”

The flooding that occurred weeks ago in Midland last month caused Versiti to cancel some planned blood drives, and the enduring anxiety over COVID-19 is discouraging people from going out and giving blood, Collver said.

Versiti will host weekly blood drives all summer throughout West Michigan. Visit dontate.miblood.org for a list of drives that are open to the public.

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