Churchill Downs is the site of the Holiday Hero Blood Drive. | Photo by Sara Havens

There’s a different race to the finish going on at Churchill Downs this week — the race to give blood.

The American Red Cross has kicked off a three-day Holiday Hero Blood Drive. It goes on from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day through Thursday at Millionaires Row 4, and prizes are being handed out while supplies last.

“Churchill Downs has been a generous partner of the Holiday Hero Blood Drive for over 10 years,” said Tiffany Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, via email. “We like hosting the blood drive on Millionaires Row because it allows our blood donors an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful view of the track while giving blood.”

The drive is part of the charity’s “Missing Types” campaign, an effort to highlight the need for people of all blood types to volunteer to give blood.

Mayor Greg Fischer is scheduled to stop by at 1 p.m. Wednesday to thank donors and volunteers, and Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, is encouraging people to donate.

“A very basic need for good health is blood,” Moyer said. “It is life-giving and lifesaving. No matter what your income or ethnicity, you need it. Every two seconds, someone needs blood.”

Gifts to presenting donors include a free chicken dinner courtesy of Stoker’s Broaster Chicken and one free ticket to King’s Island or another Cedar Fair location.

Darla Carter is a hometown girl who recently joined the staff of Insider Louisville to mostly cover health. She previously served as a longtime health and fitness writer for The Courier-Journal, where she also worked for the Metro, Neighborhoods and Features departments. Prior to that, the award-winning journalist wrote for newspapers elsewhere in Kentucky and Tennessee, covering a range of topics, from education to courts. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied journalism and philosophy, and is the proud mom of two young children.


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