Residents gave blood on Long Island, with a little rock and roll thrown in on the side. With the upon us, Long Island's "home of rock," WBAB, along with sister station WBLI, teamed with Long Island Blood Services to Give Life for Lives Lost. The mission: collect a unit of blood for every life lost on .
That made the goal 2,977 units. Blood drives were held all across Long Island, from September 6 to 10, and the bloodmobile made a stop at the BAB/BLI studios in on September 9. And, judging by the turnout, it was a goal that was within reach.
"The community has just poured out. We can't believe how much of a great response we've had," said Doreen Fiscina of LI Blood Services. "Day after day since Tuesday, we've been not only reaching our [daily] goals, but exceeding them."
Fiscina said 1,078 units had been collected as of Friday. She also said that has as collection was largely halted due to the the caused.
The West Babylon-based radio stations turned into a combination info center/sounding board on September 11, 2001. WBAB and WBLI personalities stayed on the air around the clock to give news and traffic updates on that tragic day, and told folks how and where they could help in the relief efforts.
"Part of our goal [on 9/11] was to give people something constructive to do while they were so confused, not knowing what to do, not knowing who to be angry at...really [people] just looking for outlets for the anxieties they were having," said WBAB marketing director Jason Steinberg.
Those relief efforts continue, 10 years later.
"We look to recapture that community magic again; a lot of people have been saying that they want to go back to how America was September 12, 2001, when everybody came together," Steinberg said.
Dawn and Arthur Losee came together to the WBAB studios on Friday to give blood. It's par for the course for the Babylon couple, who said they always donate when they can.
"I did work in the city as a medic, and I volunteer out here, I think it's a good thing to do," Dawn said.
"I see people who need it; I work in a hospital, so I understand the need for blood. It's the right thing to do," Arthur added.
WBAB vans can be seen all over, with staffers doing remotes, holding contests, and spreading the sounds of rock across the Island. Now they're spreading the word of life, and that means blood.
"That's part of the balance. We don't want to be celebrating this, but we don't want to be moping," Steinberg said. "It's important to not bring people down; we want to raise them up. Everybody here thinks they're doing something positive."