Blood Bank of Alaska enlists 'Star Trek' appeal to beam up donors
Officials at a blood bank on the Last Frontier are getting help – from an actor who spent a fictional career exploring the final frontier.
Collecting donations for the Blood Bank of Alaska can often be a slow process, but a recent day's work at the Anchorage Baptist Temple will help save lives. Travis Dosser is among those who gave blood.
"I just wanted to give back," Dosser said. "It's been about almost three or four years since I've given; I just wanted to kind of get back into donating blood, just as far as it's a good cause."
This winter, the blood bank is relying on a video request from William Shatner, the actor behind Captain James T. Kirk on the long-lived – and prospering – "Star Trek" TV and film franchise.
"We ask you donate today," said Shatner, as he encouraged people to give the gift of life.
The Blood Bank of Alaska once again is in need of blood, especially O-negative and O-positive, but CEO Bob Scanlon says the organization remains ready for a major emergency.
"I think we're very prepared," Scanlon said. "We've planned very, very in-depth in regards with how we will respond to likely scenarios, and I think we'll be standing tall just like we were after the most recent earthquake."
It seems the blood bank is always in need, but Scanlon says there's a good reason for that. Much like milk bought at the grocery store, blood has a shelf life; Scanlon said that figure is, on average, 43 days. Platelets, on the other hand, last five days after they are donated.
"You have a bunch of different products in there with different shelf lives, and you have to constantly be rotating those in order to insure freshest product," he said.
If that's not enough reason to give, the blood bank has called in stars like Shatner to help spread the message. Scanlon said the actor's name just popped into his head one day, so he boldly went with his gut and reached out to Shatner's office.
"Mr. Shatner's an icon, he's an institution, and I grew up with Mr. Shatner and I'm sure many of [KTVA's] viewers did as well," Scanlon said. "We were just very happy he consented to make that commercial for us – there's nothing more to say."
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