PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
January 8, 2014

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Christie Administration to Honor New Jersey’s Army, Air National Guard At the 4th & Goal Blood Drive at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton

Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd and Brigadier General Michael Cunniff will honor the men and women of New Jersey's Army and Air National Guard during a "Salute to the Troops" on January 14 at the 4th and Goal Blood Drive at Sun National Bank Center in Trenton.

"Let New Jersey continue to set an example for the rest of the country in caring for our fellow citizens in need," said Lt. Governor Guadagno. "I want to encourage all healthy and able New Jersey residents to search out the nearest donation facility and help save lives."

Health Commissioner O'Dowd said more first time blood donors are needed this year. "So I want to encourage our Army and Air National Guardsmen and all New Jersey residents to donate on January 14 either at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton or at a blood center in their area."

Two pairs of Super Bowl XLVIII tickets will be awarded on January 24 as part of the campaign. Every individual who volunteers to donate blood will be entered into the drawing for the tickets.

Former New York Jets Wide Receiver Wayne Chrebet will be at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton to greet donors and sign autographs. Live entertainment will be featured on stage including The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir, musician Rich Genoval and comedian and singer Joey Vincent. There will also be prize drawings for Pro Football Memorabilia tickets to Disney on Ice and the Paper Mill Playhouse.

"Through our involvement during Superstorm Sandy, we witnessed firsthand how New Jersey government agencies and communities rallied to support residents in the aftermath of the storm," said Brigadier General Cunniff, The Adjutant General, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. "This blood drive is another example of community involvement to help people in need. The donations received are the greatest gesture of kindness that could ultimately save a life."

The blood drive is part of National Blood Donor Month. "This month is an especially critical time for blood donation because snow and extremely low temperatures, the Holidays and flu season have resulted in fewer donations," said Commissioner O'Dowd. "Giving blood is easy. It takes less than an hour. One pint of blood from a single donor can save up to three lives."

The 4th and Goal Blood Drive is the final event in an eight-month Super Community Blood Drive campaign leading up to the Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2. Increasing blood donation is one of the charitable causes selected by the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee. The Committee teamed up with the Department of Health, the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which is sponsoring the blood drive.

One in seven people entering the hospital need blood, according to America's Blood Centers. Every day in the U.S. approximately 39,000 units of blood are required in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other illnesses, for organ transplants, and to help save the lives of accident victims.

Sixty percent of New Jersey residents are eligible to donate blood, but only 3.6 percent do so on a regular basis. According to America's Blood Centers,

The Super Community Blood Drive campaign emphasized the need for employers to host blood drives and encourage their employees to donate. As part of the campaign, Johnson & Johnson hosted a blood drive and press conference at its New Brunswick headquarters last July 30. The MetLife Stadium parking lot was the site of a major drive last October 1.

New Jersey employers, public officials and academic leaders can help alleviate New Jersey's blood shortage either by hosting a workplace blood drive, promoting community blood drives, joining with other businesses to sponsor a blood drive, or by inviting their employees, students and faculty to donate at the nearest blood center or hospital donation facility.

To register to donate for the 4th and Goal Blood Drive, visit the Department's website at www.njsave3lives.com.