This article was originally published on

Blood Assurance, a non-profit regional blood center, will hold grand opening celebration of its Athens donor center on Tuesday, April 7 from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Visitors will have the opportunity to receive a free lunch courtesy of Don Armando, as well as Mayfield Dairy ice cream vouchers.

The grand opening will feature a special ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. hosted by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Blood Assurance staff, allowing guests to learn more about the Blood Assurance mission and tour the new facility.

In conjunction with the grand opening celebration, the Athens Movie Palace will be hosting “Blood Assurance Day” at the theater on April 7. All community members who donate blood at the new Blood Assurance center between April 7-17 will receive a free movie ticket voucher.

“There is always a need for blood, and we are excited to meet this need with the help of the Athens community,” said Charlie Callari, vice president of marketing and donor recruitment for Blood Assurance, Inc. “With our grand opening celebration, we want to encourage all community members to celebrate life by becoming a regular blood donor at the new Athens location. Every blood donation saves three lives, and it takes 540 donations a day in order to meet the need of area hospitals.”

According to America’s Blood Centers, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and this blood cannot be artificially made. While the need for blood is always constant, Blood Assurance uses their own lab, which allows for an increased level of testing and the ability to get blood supply to markets more quickly and efficiently.

“We’ve recently expanded into other cities, and our partnerships with these communities have been a great success. We see a tremendous opportunity to help saves lives here across the Athens region,” said Jay Baumgardner, executive director of community & business development for Blood Assurance, Inc.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids – avoiding caffeine – and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

The Athens Blood Assurance Center is located at 213 Washington St.