“Battle of the Badges” blood drive to take place Feb. 15

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 10, 2018

In a partnership with the Blood Center in Picayune and Puttin on the Pink, the annual “Battle of the Badges” Blood Drive will take place Thursday, Feb. 15.

Blood Center Public Relations Manager Paul Adams said the blood drive is a competition between police departments and fire departments in Pearl River County to see who can collect the most donations. At the end of the competition, the winning department earns bragging rights.

The general public is also encouraged to donate blood and participate in the event. Adams said members of the public can pick which department they vote for in the competition when they donate.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The blood drive will be held from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. and first responders and the public can either donate at Fatty’s Seafood Restaurant, located at 3320 Highway 11 in Picayune, or the Poplarville Fire Department, located at 110 S. Main St. in Poplarville.

“We started this event in New Orleans a couple of years ago and between 150-200 people donated blood, so we decided to also host it in Pearl River County,” Adams said.

If a person is interested in participating in the event but can’t donate on Thursday, they can visit the Blood Center between Saturday and Wednesday and cast their vote for their favorite department.

In addition to the friendly competition between the police and fire departments, every donor will receive a t-shirt and $5 will be donated to the Puttin on the Pink Breast Cancer Foundation for every unit of blood collected during the drive.

Puttin on the Pink President Loren Fortenberry said the foundation offers free vouchers for mammograms and breast ultrasounds to women in Pearl River County who can’t afford them.

The vouchers can be used at either Highland Community Hospital in Picayune and Northshore Family Medical Center in Slidell, Fortenberry said. Last year, Puttin on the Pink provided 65 vouchers and over $2,000 in travel and prescription assistance to women in Pearl River County.

“After a person is diagnosed with breast cancer, they can apply for state aid but during the diagnosis part, that’s where a lot of people can’t afford to pay for such tests and that’s where we come in and try to help as much as possible,” Fortenberry said.  “We have applications and brochures available at many physician offices in the county and in order to be eligible for aid, a woman has to live and work in Pearl River County. Our goal is to make sure we are able to provide financial coverage to as many people as possible.”