Celebrating a Chicago-Born Sport: Roller Derby Athletes Host Blood Drive Series That Draws Record Crowds

Roller Derby - First BloodAthletes from 11 Chicago-area Roller Derby Leagues will host the final event for the largest roller derby blood drive series in the US, “Make ‘em Bleed,” Sunday, Oct 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, with online sign-ups for donors available at www.redcrossblood.org, sponsor code: DERBY.  Roller derby leagues nationwide in partnership with the American Red Cross and Brown Paper Tickets offer autographs, photo opportunities and roller derby-themed temporary tattoos to inspire a record-breaking number of life-saving blood donations.

Oct. 23, 2017 – (Chicago) Athletes from 11 Chicago-area Roller Derby leagues will host  “First Blood,” the capstone event for the largest blood drive series in the US, “Make ‘em Bleed,” a popular national roller derby blood drive series that has attracted record crowds for these community service events, in partnership with the American Red Cross and Brown Paper Tickets, Sunday, Oct 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois, 2200 West Harrison Street Chicago, IL 60612. Time-saving appointments for donors are available online at www.redcrossblood.org, sponsor code DERBY.

First Blood is also the final celebration of World Roller Derby Week, a series of events honoring the 82nd birthday of one of  the only sports born in Chicago. Roller derby continues to thrive, with 2000 leagues skating, competing and giving back to their communities worldwide.The Chicagoland leagues hosting First Blood are Midwest Allstars, (Summit, Ill.), Northern Illinois Junior Roller Derby, (Channahon, Ill.),Chicago, Chicago Outfit, (Chicago, Ill.), Aurora 88s, (Aurora, Ill.), Chicago Bruise Brothers, (Lombard, Ill.), Chicago Red Hots, (Cicero, Ill.),  Lombard Rec N Roll, (Lombard, Ill.), Vindicated Vixens, (Tinley Park, Ill.), Dupage Derby Dames, (Roselle, Ill.), South Shore Roller Girls, (Hammond, Ind.), and Illiana Derby Dames, (Lynwood, Ill.).

The Make ‘em Bleed roller derby blood drive series has collected more than 1,100 units of blood over the past 4 years — enough to save up to 3,300 lives. Just as in the other Make ‘em Bleed blood drives being hosted by leagues nationwide, Chicago roller derby athletes in full uniform and skates will offer autographs, photo opportunities and roller derby-themed temporary tattoos to inspire a record-breaking number of life-saving blood donations.

“The Make ‘Em Bleed blood drives provide a fantastic atmosphere, with roller derby athletes skating in uniform, refreshments, giveaways and an all-around good time,” said Justin Mueller, representative for the American Red Cross.“Make ‘Em Bleed has really made a difference to help ensure blood is available for patients in need.”

The Chicago roller derby blood drive is also the culmination of World Roller Derby Week, a series of events celebrating the 82nd birthday of the only sport invented in Chicago. One of only three major sports invented in the United States, roller derby continues to thrive and inspire generations of athletes and fans. Currently, almost 2000 women’s, men’s and junior leagues are skating, competing and giving back to their communities worldwide.

The Make ‘em Bleed roller derby blood drive series was created by Brown Paper Tickets and by Jerry Seltzer, the son of the inventor of roller derby, Leo Seltzer.

“Community service is written in the charter of most roller derby leagues, so partnering roller derby with Not-Just-For-Profit ticketing company Brown Paper Tickets and the American Red Cross is a match made in heaven,” said Seltzer, who is also a representative for Brown Paper Tickets. Brown Paper Tickets is also the top seller of tickets to roller derby events worldwide.

To schedule a convenient appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code: DERBY.

The first Make ‘em Bleed roller derby blood drive for 2018 will be Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, hosted by Tulsa’s Roughneck Roller Derby from noon to 6 p.m. at Rhema Bible Church,1025 W Kenosha St, Broken Arrow, OK.

Make ‘em Bleed roller derby blood drive dates and locations for 2018 are being added and updated weekly. For the latest news, check

http://community.brownpapertickets.com/wp/redcross-blood-drives-roller-derby/. Follow the roller derby blood drives at #makeembleed. If you would like your local roller derby league to host a Make ‘em Bleed blood drive, contact derbyblooddrive@gmail.com.