United Blood Services Applauds 5.5 Million Donors

Luis Gonzales Signs Baseball

Luis Gonzalez autographs a baseball

Arizona’s largest non-profit community blood provider celebrates saving lives for 70 years.
To commemorate the occasion, baseball legend Luis Gonzales presented United Blood Services 2013 Bill Shover Leadership Award to D-backs President Derrick Hall.  Selected by the UBS Community Leadership Council each year, the Bill Shover award recognizes the individual who has made the largest impact on the blood program as a community leader and advocate for United Blood Services.
This year’s annual Valentines for Life event applauded the efforts of more than 1,000 blood drive coordinators across Arizona for working together to provide Arizona patients with 287,326 lifesaving blood transfusions last year.
Gonzo and honored guests at the Valentines for Life event met 18-year-old Tommy (Chandler) when he shared his remarkable story about how 85 blood donors saved his life.  He was rushed to the hospital when he experienced unusual swelling after an injury playing baseball, where blood tests revealed Tommy had leukemia. “When we found out that 98% of his blood was cancer cells, we realized how close we came to losing him, exclaimed his mother, Connie.”
Hero City of PhoenixThanks to his blood donors, Tommy has a clean bill of health now, but continues to rely on transfusions periodically to offset the long-term effects of chemotherapy.  “My family and I are very grateful for the gift of life that blood donors have given to me,” Tommy emphasized.
Of the 1,037 organizations that hosted blood drives across the state last year, 203 groups achieved Valentines for Life awards for reaching significant milestones in recruiting blood donors.  Of those, 31 organizations earned the Hero Award, United Blood Services most prestigious achievement and an honor that is reached by less than three percent of all blood drive coordinators across Arizona.
This dynamic group of coordinators provided the largest impact on the blood supply with outstanding blood drive organization, going above and beyond to recruit donors on difficult days and during times of the year when the need was most critical.  With the support of their senior management and blood drive committees, the 31 Hero Award winners alone hosted 268 blood drives, providing Arizona patients with an amazing 14,484 lifesaving blood donations.
The “Valentines for Life” celebration was held on Fri., Feb. 15, at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.
Bill Shover Leadership Award  was presented by Baseball Legend Luis Gonzalez. Chosen by the UBS Community Leadership Council:  The individual that inspired, motivated and served as an advocate for United Blood Services as a community leader. The 2013 Recipient:  Derrick Hall, President, Arizona Diamondbacks
Hero Awards
Those that provided the largest impact on the blood supply with outstanding blood drive coordination.
East Valley

  • Chandler: Barbara Hover & Rachael Witkin, Bank of America Chandler Blvd Campus
  • Fountain Hills: Paul Appeldorn & Dr. Liz Smith, Fountain Hills Noon Kiwanis
  • Gilbert: Marie Clarkson & Aimee Patton, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – San Tan Stake
  • Gilbert: George & Judy Klingler, Trilogy
  • Scottsdale: Kama Evans, Blood Systems/Cotton Center
  • Scottsdale: Gail Baldacchino, General Dynamics-Hayden
  • Scottsdale: Gail Ryan, Scottsdale Insurance
  • Tempe: Maggie Lacerenza, Arizona State University
  • Tempe: Heidi Dye & Eric Ligon, Bank of America Community Volunteers Tempe Operations
  • Tempe: Janelle Thrasher & Linda Tomasi, SRP Information Systems Building (Tempe)


  • Samantha Germain, Bank of America Phoenix Campus
  • Angie Chea, Donor Network of Arizona
  • Maria Elena Prudencio, La Sagrada Familia
  • Tish Mailloux & Kairin Whiteside, Mayo Clinic
  • Dawn DeZwaan, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute
  • Ashlee Buckwalter, Phoenix City Hall
  • Richard Rodriguez, St. Jerome Catholic Church
  • Barb Lucas & Dennis Richeson, Wells Fargo Plaza

West Valley

  • Avondale: America Segura, Universal Technical Institute
  • Glendale: Jim Quinn, St. Helen’s Catholic Church
  • Glendale: Brenda Flores, World Mission Society Church of God
  • Peoria: Norma Bonaski, City of Peoria
  • Sun City West: Cindy Griffin & Lisa Johnson, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center
  • Surprise: Brandi Tshivhase, Sunset Hills Elementary

Outlying Arizona

  • Cottonwood: Todd Willis, Knights of Columbus – Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
  • Flagstaff: Bonnie Bouschet, Best Buy – Flagstaff
  • Flagstaff: Kelley Barrow & Kelly Mendenhall, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints NAU Institute of Religion
  • Flagstaff: Kim Angelo, Mary Hostetler & Monique McCartney, Flagstaff Medical Center
  • Flagstaff: Eric Davis, RE/MAX Peak Properties
  • Page: Tim Barney, SRP Navajo Generating Station
  • Yuma: Robin Hardee, Yuma Regional Medical Center

OPEN THE FRONT DOOR TO    United Blood Services

About Frontdoors Media

Frontdoors Media celebrates the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of our community. It’s the premier source of information – and inspiration – for those who strive to make the Valley of the Sun a better place to live.
More in: Community, News, The Daily

From Frontdoors Magazine

Back to Top