Henderson is a beautiful, peaceful town, filled with an amazing community of people with giving hearts. The turnout to the 6th annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive happened from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 21 prove that point.
Normally this event would have been a competition between the Henderson Firie Department (HFD) and the Henderson Police Department (HPD) to see which department could raise the most in blood donations. However, this year was a little different.
This Blood Drive was to support the depleted local blood banks in need, sponsored by Carter BloodCare.
The recent influx of patients in the hospitals due to COVID-19 has put a strain on hospitals, and in turn, on the local blood bank reserves for patients.
To combat this, both departments set aside friendly rivalry to make way for teamwork, hoping that by working together they could bring in more donations.
Claudette Welch, the Administrative Assistant of the Fire Department, said, “Coming together as one,” to showcase the effort of both Departments during these difficult times.
Deputy Fire Chief, Sonny Ybarra, also stated that there was the need “at this time, to be a team.”
Cheryl Jimmerson, the City Secretary, spoke on the tradition of the Battle of the Badges and how this year had been hard on their resolve as servicemen.
Even the Mayor, John “Buzz” Fullen, came out to support the community, donating his time, and blood, to the event.
Jessica Whitehead, the representative from Carter BloodCare did an amazing job with managing the procedures for this donation. The inside of the Civic Center was set up to accommodate social distancing guidelines and all personnel and donators were required to wear masks at all times.
The donors were requested to fill out forms prior to donation and were subjected to a physical screening prior to donating. All measures of precaution were performed as much as possible to ease the worries of donors. They had sent out a prior statement that if a donor had even the sniffles they would be turned away.
For tempting the masses to give blood, Sandra’s Snowballs distributed snowball coupons for those who donated, and Whataburger of Henderson gave stress balls for use during the donation to each donor.
As a thank you for donating, Carter BloodCare was also testing the blood donated for the presence of any antibodies of COVID-19.
Many seemed to be making an effort to raise as many donations as possible, trying to reach their set goal of 100 units. It was regretful that goal was not reached, but the 69 units that were collected were an incredible amount considering the pandemic and fear of COVID-19. This just goes to show that there are always people in this tight-knit community willing to go that extra mile for their neighbors.
There were many different contributors to this amazing event, and in a press release sent by Letti Goodrich, Communications and Marketing Coordinator of the City, she addressed the events’ patrons.
“We would not have been able to make this happen without the support of the following organizations, and wish to thank them accordingly:
City employees and staff for assistance with setup and promotion, Henderson Fire Department, Henderson Police Department, Carter BloodCare, KETK staff for their amazing coverage of our event, The Henderson News for their support and coverage, KWRD’s The Road Show for coverage, and Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.
We would also like to especially thank the community of Henderson for the support consistently shown to our first responders and all we accomplish as a result of that support. Without each of you, our reach would not be so far.”
And with the News Cast from the Television Networks coming in, Captain Brian Bathke made a statement that put a smile on everyone’s faces who happened to hear it.
“Next year, we’ll smoke the firemen!”