Donors, celebs and city officials who came out Saturday March 15 to support Sabriya’s Castle of Fun Foundation’s (SCFF) bi-annual blood drive in front of the Los Angeles Sentinel on Crenshaw.Over 100 donors registered to give blood, which resulted in 28 vials of rare blood needed for sickle cell patients. (photo: Robert Torrence)
“We’re here because we want to give back to the community,” said President of Morehouse Alumni Association and blood donor Dominique Scoggins. “There are a lot of children in Los Angeles who are in severe need of blood. Of course, in the African American community we have sickle cell. So, any blood that people are willing to give helps, especially if they aren’t able to get blood from anywhere else.”
Dominique was among the many volunteers, donors, celebs and city officials who came out Saturday March 15 to support Sabriya’s Castle of Fun Foundation’s (SCFF) bi-annual blood drive in front of the Los Angeles Sentinel on Crenshaw. Over 100 donors registered to give blood, which resulted in 28 vials of rare blood needed for sickle cell patients. Children’s Hospital Representatives raved over the success of the drive and the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers.
Every year, since Sabriya Bakewell’s passing from leukemia in 1992, the Foundation named in her honor, has joined Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to bring fun, joy and happiness to hospitalized children suffering from leukemia and other blood diseases. The March blood drive, in honor of Sabriya’s birthday (March 13th) collected blood for children, like Sabriya, with chronic disorders, such as cancer and sickle cell anemia where regular transfusions may be needed.
Councilman Curren Price, State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Nolan Rollins, President of the LA Urban League and actress Dawn Lewis joined volunteers from Bank of America, Morehouse Alumni Association, Delta Sigma Theta Chapter of Long Beach, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, LA Urban League Young Professionals, Spelman College, Zeta Rho Foundation, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Pepperdine Black Alumni Association, LAPD, LAFD, LA Sentinel, Brotherhood Crusade, EIF Revlon Run Walk and music with media partner 94.7 the WAVE. Ronald McDonald House Charities and the McDonald’s Black Operators Association provided financial support of the blood drive.
Sharon Johnson, the first donor of the day said she gives blood in honor of her father who was a Marine. “I started giving blood when he was in the Marines and since he passed away, I decided that I would keep up that tradition."
This year, Sabriya’s birthday celebration allowed volunteers to fellowship with free tacos, raffles, music and the opportunity to meet and greet fellow volunteers from a wide array of community organizations with a common purpose – giving back of their time through volunteerism. It was a fun filled day of fun, joy and happiness.
This year, SCFF also reached out to the public on behalf of Valaria Fenderson, who has sickle cell and is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant. Nita Thompson, Chair of African American Blood Drive and Bone Marrow Registry for Sickle Cell Disease Association, a certified ‘Be the Match’ Representative also attended and signed up donors for this program.
Misty Williams Marshall, founder of Misty Melony Sickle Cell Disease Foundation, said she is grateful for Children’s Hospital and organizations like Sabriya’s Castle of Fun and looks forward to partnering on the next blood drive in September.
SCFF offers more opportunities throughout the year for people to donate blood. The next drive is in September, in honor of Sickle Cell month, according to Pamela Bakewell, President of Sabriya’s Castle of Fun Foundation. Everyone is invited to attend. The date will be announced soon. Check out www.sabriyascastle.org to learn more about the Foundation and to register for the next blood drive.