Recent News

Widow honors late husband’s memory with Valentine’s Day blood donation


Heartland Blood Centers (HBC), part of Versiti, and the Chicago Automobile Trade Association are saving lives and honoring a long-time leader with the Dennis Buckley Memorial Blood Drive Feb. 9-18 during the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place.

For many years, Dennis helped lead the auto show and was the driving force behind its blood drives. After Dennis passed away from cancer in 2004, the drive was named in his honor. Every Valentine’s Day, Dennis’ wife, Lauren, donates blood at the drive to honor his life-saving legacy.

“When I donate, I think about how grateful Dennis was for blood donors that helped him through his treatment – and how happy he would be to know that his passion fuels our commitment to save lives through his blood drive,” said Lauren.

As the blood products supplier to 71 hospitals in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, the need for blood is constant. All blood types are needed, but especially type O negative, which is the universal type that can be safely received by all patients and is given to those undergoing surgery, kids and adults battling cancer and those in emergency situations.

HBC will wheel in two of its 40-foot coach buses as the backdrop for the 10-day drive on the show floor. All attempting blood donors will receive a limited edition HBC Chicago Auto Show long sleeve t-shirt. Donors that make an appointment prior to their donation will also receive a free auto show ticket. Donations can be made Feb. 9-17 between 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and on Feb. 18 between 10 a.m.-6 p.m. To make an appointment, call 1-800-7TO-GIVE (1-800-786-4483) or visit

“We are proud to partner with Heartland Blood Centers as the Chicago Auto Show blood drives have helped countless patients over the past 20 years. Naming the drive after Dennis keeps his name living on at the Chicago Auto Show,” said Chicago Auto Show General Manager David Sloan.

About Heartland Blood Centers
Heartland Blood Centers, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Aurora, Ill., that specializes in blood products and services and provides expert medical and technical support.
Founded in 1943, Heartland is the oldest blood center in Illinois and serves patients at 71 hospitals in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Heartland operates 13 donor centers and conducts nearly 2,200 blood drives annually at area hospitals, churches, businesses, schools and community centers. To learn more, visit

Back to News