Donate Blood in August and Golf for Free

Donors who give blood at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, in the month of August will receive a free round of golf at participating Somerset County Park Commission courses. It’s a gift for A-gamers and duffers alike that comes in the midst of historic blood shortages, courtesy of the Somerset County Park Foundation and the Somerset Health Care Foundation.

“Somerset County Park Foundation’s principal role is to support the Park Commission. We do so through various fundraising efforts throughout the year. By offering rounds of golf with this joint venture to encourage much needed blood donations, we expose our citizens to the Park Commission’s fabulous golf courses,” said John Kitchen, Somerset County Park Foundation Board Chairman, “It is a win-win-win-win for the Hospital Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Park Commission, and—most importantly, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s Blood Services.”

While summer is usually a challenging time for blood banks, this year is unlike any other due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The need for blood is at an all-time high across the country and blood collected through RWJUH Somerset’s Blood Services directly helps patients in the local community. The concept of neighbor-helping-neighbor launched the partnership with the Somerset County Park Commission and RWJUH Somerset’s Blood Services more than a decade ago; pausing in 2020 in response to pandemic-related shutdowns. In response to the great need to mobilize blood donors, and to help stock the hospital’s blood bank, Somerset Health Care Foundation and the Somerset County Park Foundation stepped in and now the program is back in full swing.

“COVID-19 has led to many hardships for our community. Somerset Health Care Foundation is so pleased to partner with the Somerset County Park Foundation to help fill the need for lifesaving blood for patients,” said Paul Hubert, Chairman of Somerset Health Care Foundation Board of Trustees. “I want to thank the many donors that will step forward to help their neighbors during this critical time.”

Blood donors will receive a pass for free greens fees and golf cart usage at the Green Knoll, Quail Brook, Spooky Brook and Warrenbrook courses. Passes are available to the first 180 donors. In order to adhere to COVID-19 prevention protocols and social distancing, appointments are required for all blood donations and must be made by calling 908-685-2926 or scheduling online at RWJUHDonorClub.org. Due to hospital visitor restrictions, walk-ins will not be admitted without an appointment.

“We are grateful to the Somerset County Park Foundation and Somerset Health Care Foundation for rewarding our blood donors who give selflessly to save the lives of strangers,” said Wael Hassan, PhD, director of Laboratory Services at RWJUH Somerset. “Never before have we experienced a nationwide shortage of this magnitude, so the timing of this gift is critical and will ultimately protect our blood bank from perilous deficits.”

Donors must be at least 16 years old (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 lbs. (120 lbs if under 18), feel well at the time of donation and have not had exposure to anyone suspected of having COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Photo ID is required and donors are encouraged to eat and hydrate well prior to their visit. Recent changes to blood donor criteria in response to the pandemic now allows for many people who were previously deferred to donate again. For specific questions about medical and travel eligibility, call 908-685-2926.