Blood drive skates into Northpark Mall hallway

Nate Billings

An act of giving blood has added some entertainment.

Carbon Star, a skateboard, mountainboard and accessory store in Northpark Mall, has decided to sponsor a Community Blood Center of the Ozarks’ blood drive.

“It’s for a good cause,” said Desiree Petersen-Patrick, owner of Carbon Star.

Petersen-Patrick said her sister was saved by a blood donation, and she wanted to give back to the community.

“I’ve seen it work its magic in my family,” Petersen-Patrick said.

The blood drive will go by the slogan “Heroes 4 Life: be someone’s hero, give blood.”

Petersen-Patrick said she is hoping Missouri Southern students as well as other members of the community will turn out for the event.

The event will include a fashion show, live performances by the Southern Exposure Show Choir, local musicians and break-dancers.

Day Dreams and Cosmic Mini Golf will also be helping to sponsor the event.

The stores are located near the main entrance of the mall, directly across from the men’s Famous Barr.

“It’s (the hall) always been a kind of neglected area,” Petersen-Patrick said.

The event will also help raise awareness of the stores nearby.

There are students who are aware of the blood drive and its need.

“I give blood because I have a special protein which allows me to donate to new-born babies,” said Jessica Reyelts, freshman studio art major.

Reyelts has given blood five times before and said she learned about the drive from a flier she saw at the mall.

“Obviously it saves lives,” she said. “It’s a bonus thing you can do for your community.”

Others on campus did not know about the drive, but said blood drives in general are useful to the area.

“It helps with the community,” said Chris Topher, freshman criminal justice major. “It helps people see the aspects of helping out rather than not doing anything.”

Reyelts and Topher said giving blood only stings at first.

The main events will take place from 5-8 p.m. March 18 in the hall of the main entrance of the mall.

Petersen-Patrick said the time is good because it is usually free of many events, and it is right before spring break.

She is hoping for more than 100 pints of blood.

Students involved in graphics arts or anyone interested may enter a contest for a blank-board design.

Petersen-Patrick said David Noblett, associate professor of art, is helping to work with the contest and announced it to his students.

He said few students have entered, but the deadline is Thursday.

Anyone interested should stop by Carbon Star and buy a blank board. People can then paint a design on the board and bring it back to the store. Participants at the drive will be able to vote on their favorite design.

The top winners will go to a final round later on, and customers can vote on them. The winner will have his or her board put into production and sold at the store.

Everyone who gives blood will receive a button from Carbon Star as well as discounts from stores in the same hall. The discounts vary from store-to-store and are subject to change.

“It’s really easy to give in Joplin,” Reyelts said. “All you have to do is go to the mall.”