Blood drive in memory of East Peoria native

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin
Morgan Ciota

PEORIA — Summer is an important time of year for the American Red Cross. As many families leave on summer vacations and schools are dismissed, blood donations tend to decline. But hospital patients can’t take a summer break from needing a lifesaving blood transfusion.

To help ensure blood products are available all summer long, the students of East Peoria Community High School are recruiting eligible donors to rock out and help save lives at the eighth annual Rock ‘N Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood Drive from 1-6 p.m. Tuesday at the Peoria RiverPlex, 600 NE Water St., Peoria. 

All presenting donors will receive a free Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. Additionally, radio sponsor 105.7 the X will broadcast live at the blood drive from 1-3 p.m.

Students are also encouraging eligible donors to donate on Tuesday in memory of East Peoria Community High School class of 2011 graduate Morgan Ciota, who was killed in a car accident earlier this year in St. Louis. Morgan helped coordinate the Rock ‘N Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood drive in 2009 and is being remembered for her infectious laugh and generous spirit. 

All eligible donors are encouraged to give on July 1 to help maintain the summer blood supply and prevent a shortage. Donors of all blood types are currently needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. 

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. 

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. 

For more information, visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.