Illinois Lt. Gov. Joins Red Cross in Effort to Help Save Lives

August 30, 2011

Sheila Simon Plans Blood Donation at State Fair


Donate Blood at the DuQuoin State Fair!


When: Sat. Sept. 3 – Mon. Sept. 5  2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Where: First Heat building




            Visitors to the Illinois State Fair in DuQuoin Aug. 26-Sept. 5 will have the opportunity to enjoy delicious fair food, see exciting motorsports, listen to great music, and help save lives! The American Red Cross will team up with the office of Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, and the Illinois Department of Transportation to host a blood drive Saturday, Sept. 3 – Monday, Sept. 5 in the First Heat building on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.

            “This blood drive is a wonderful opportunity for Illinoisans to come together as a community and give the gift of life,” said Simon, who intends to be the first donor at the drive when it opens at 2:00 p.m. Sept. 3.  “I urge all fairgoers to join me in helping maintain an adequate blood supply, which is a critical component of emergency preparedness.”

Fairgoers are encouraged to join Lt. Gov. Simon in giving the gift of life and helping the Red Cross address a nationwide need to bring blood supplies back to adequate levels.  In May and June, blood donations were at the lowest level the Red Cross has seen during this timeframe in over a dozen years.  While donations are up since then, blood products continue to go to area hospitals just as quickly as they are coming in.  The recent sizzling temperatures experienced across much of the nation have hurt blood collections by making it extremely difficult to recruit new blood donors.

            Presenting blood donors at the DuQuoin State Fair will not only potentially help save lives, but they can receive a $1,000 gas card for their efforts!  During the Labor Day Holiday weekend, anyone who attempts to donate blood at a Red Cross blood drive or donation center will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 gas card.  Furthermore, those who attempt to donate at the DuQuoin State Fair or any other Red Cross blood drive or donation center in the southern Illinois, St. Louis, or Cape Girardeau areas will have the opportunity to purchase discounted St. Louis Rams football tickets.

            Blood transfusions are needed at area hospitals to treat injury victims, cancer patients, surgery patients and others.  The Red Cross hopes those in attendance at the DuQuoin State Fair will follow Lt. Gov. Simon’s lead and roll up their sleeves to help area patients.  Those unable to donate at the fair can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS to find times and dates of other area blood drives near them.      


How to Donate Blood:

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit to make an appointment today. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors younger than 19. Visit to learn more.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at