The Team Edwards community is known for its willingness to help others, especially during American Red Cross blood drives hosted on base.
May 16, that willingness to help others was recognized during the Seventh Annual Battle of the Badges Awards ceremony at the Grove in Los Angeles, Calif.
“The Battle of the Badges is an annual American Red Cross sponsored- event which is an opportunity for all ARC badge carrying personnel, including friends and family, to positively impact the community by competing in a friendly competition to see who donated the most blood and ultimately saved the most lives,” said Staff Sgt. Jessica Custodio, 412th Medical Operations Squadron representative and blood drive coordinator for Edwards.
During the ceremony, team Edwards won awards in six out of the 11 categories that were presented, according to Custodio.
“Initially, as the representative, I was told that Edwards was selected to receive a couple of awards a couple days before the actual event, but I really didn’t expect this,” said Custodio. “This really says a lot about our community as a whole, who help support our drives. It proves that with hard work and determination, we can truly make a difference.”
This particular event was open to all of Southern California Blood Services Region and Edwards won in the following categories, some for the first time in Edwards’ history:
- 1. Greatest Number of Donors at a Single Drive Winner*
This award goes to the two agencies that had the greatest number of donors participate at their blood drive. Edwards AFB had a total of 106 donors.
- 2. Greatest Number of Donors From An Individual Agency Winner*
This award goes to the two agencies that had the greatest number of donors participate among all Battle of the Badges blood drives. Edwards AFB had a total of 225 donors.
- 3. Greatest Blood Drive Growth from 2012 to 2013 Runner-up*
This award goes to the two agencies that had the greatest percentage increase in participating donors at their 2013 blood drive (versus presenting donors at their 2012 blood drive). Edwards AFB had a total of 162 percent.
- 4. 50+ Brigade**
This award goes to agencies that had 50 or more presenting donors at their blood drive (even if your agency is small you can achieve this level by including community, friends and family). Edwards AFB had a total of 225 presenting donors, 167 more presenting donors than last year.
- 5. Rising Star*
This award goes to agencies that increased the presenting donors at their 2012 blood drive by 25% or more over their 2011 blood drive. Edwards AFB had a total of a 162 percent increase.
- 6. Holiday Heroes **
This award recognizes agencies that hosted American Red Cross blood drives between December 18 and January 8, a time when the blood supply historically drops to critically low levels. Edwards AFB had a total of 72 presenting donors, 44 more presenting donors than last year.
“In total, we competed against 180 other agencies all throughout the American Red Cross Southern California Blood Services Region,” added Custodio. “More importantly, the reason we have these blood drives is to raise awareness for the need of blood donors. Less than three percent of people in the American Red Cross Southern California Blood Services Region donates blood and more than 400,000 units of blood each year help patients in need in Southern California. The community blood supply is everyone’s responsibility, because you never know whose life it could save.”
Blood drives are normally held every first Wednesday of each month. The next blood drive at Edwards is scheduled for June 5 at Chapel 1 Annex from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
*Denotes first ever award in this category
**Denotes award won for second consecutive year