Dow Diamond a Donation Center for Michigan Blood

MBF Partners For Nation's First Blood Donation Center In A Sports Venue

By Great Lakes Loons | October 4, 2011 6:05 AM ET

MIDLAND, Mich. - The Michigan Baseball Foundation, the Great Lakes Loons, the Dow Chemical Company, and Michigan Blood announced last week a partnership between the organizations that will result in a new blood donation center being located at Dow Diamond, home of the Great Lakes Loons. The nearly 1,000-square-foot donation center will replace a long-time location at Dow Chemical and will be accessible to the public via an entrance on the third-base side of the stadium. It is believed to be the first blood donation center to be located at a sports stadium.

"The Loons and the Michigan Baseball Foundation take their commitment to the community very seriously," said Paul Barbeau, president and general manager of the Great Lakes Loons. "The partnership with Michigan Blood is an example of our desire to support the community that supports us, by serving as the host for a lifesaving effort like blood donation."

In addition to the location at Dow Diamond, Michigan Blood also has Midland donor centers at MidMichigan Medical Center and Dow Corning. The nonprofit blood center also hosts nearly 650 blood drives at places of business, worship, and education annually in the Great Lakes Bay region.

"It's tremendous we're able to take our long-time affiliation with Michigan Blood to a new site familiar and accessible to all residents in the Great Lakes Bay region," said Rob Vallentine, public affairs director at Dow Chemical. "Michigan Blood works with local donors to provide our local hospitals with the blood they need. Our support of Michigan Blood, therefore, supports the needs of our community."

Dow Chemical will contribute funding needed to renovate the area that will become the new donor center. Construction on the donation center will begin in October and the center is expected to open this winter.

"Dow Chemical has been a great partner of ours for decades," said Bill Rietscha, president and CEO of Michigan Blood. "We're thrilled to open a center right in the heart of the Great Lakes Bay region and excited to offer our donors another excellent facility to support the blood needs of patients in Michigan hospitals."

In the Great Lakes Bay region, Michigan Blood supplies all of the blood used at MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland, Covenant Medical Center in Saginaw, and St. Mary's of Michigan in Saginaw.

"More than 43,000 donations occur annually in the Great Lakes Bay region to allow Michigan Blood to meet the needs of our hometown hospitals," said Jim Childress, vice president of community relations at Michigan Blood. "We're confident many of those donors will choose to donate at this new Dow Diamond location and may even stick around to take in a Loons game in the summer months."

About Michigan Blood

Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is an independent, nonprofit blood bank that provides blood for 32 hospitals across Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Serving Michigan hospitals is the top priority for Michigan Blood, which collects more than 110,000 pints of blood each year at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,700 mobile blood drives statewide. Related services available from Michigan Blood include a nationally recognized blood stem cell (marrow) program, therapeutic apheresis, DNA tissue-typing, transfusion medicine consultations, and Michigan's first public cord blood bank. Michigan Blood is a member of America's Blood Centers, a network of community blood banks spanning North America that together provide half the US blood supply. For more information, visit

About the Michigan Baseball Foundation

The Michigan Baseball Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and public charity, which was formed in 2006 to generate regional economic development through creative partnerships and grants and to enhance the efforts of regional organizations that serve young people. The Michigan Baseball Foundation owns and operates Dow Diamond, home of the Great Lakes Loons, a Class A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Foundation received its initial funding from The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, The Dow Corning Corporation, The Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation and The Bill and Linda Stavropoulos Foundation.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More