On Thursday, Aug. 1, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, along with UNYTS, will host a blood donation drive from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m., and will offer a huge "Thank you" in the form of hot dogs, sodas, and two tickets to a Bison's game of choice for every donor.
UNYTS has designated this community blood drive in memory of Brandon Kupiec. An extended family member of DeGraff, Kupiec recently passed away at the age of 20. For the past five years, he had been an avid blood donor, understanding fully the importance of the gift of life.
Kupiec was an inspiration to many, starting with his own mother, who began donating herself after he did.
"How does a mother sign a release for her 15-year-old to donate blood without doing so herself?" said Mary Beth Kupiec, manager of volunteer services at DeGraff. "He is the reason I began donating, and the reason I will forever continue."
The need for blood in Western New York is a critical reality. The rate of blood donations is currently below the national average.
Appointments will be honored, but walk-ins are also welcome. Call 716-690-2088 to make an appointment or just come to DeGraff, 445 Tremont St., North Tonawanda.