Officials, community members team up for annual 'Battle of the Badges' event in Norristown

NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- In Norristown, Montgomery County, community members, and local officials gathered to represent a national cause.

The annual Battle of the Badges event organized by the American Red Cross enters its fourth year as Norristown officials with the fire and police department team up against the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department to raise awareness and recruit the most community blood donors.

The event was held Tuesday at the Norristown Recreation Center at 1101 Harding Blvd.

"The first three years we've collected on the last count over 200 units. So that equates to saving almost 600 lives which is a great thing," said Lieutenant Michael Bishop of the Norristown Police Department.

Rich Lockhart, Deputy Chief of Norristown Fire Department, said, "With COVID and everything we knew that the numbers were down with the people who donated blood."

He adds having this event take place this year was important, knowing blood donations are critical to helping the American Red Cross in their efforts to save lives.

Jennifer Graham, who is the executive director of the American Red Cross Delaware Valley Chapter, says, although this event only lasts one day at locations across the country, the hope is to inspire others to continue these contributions year-round.

"Last year, when the pandemic was still upon us, this blood drive still happened, which was impressive," said Graham. "As we're starting to find a new normal, as we are emerging out of this pandemic, the need for blood does not stop. Emergencies don't stop."

She says it's groups like this that support the American Red Cross during the most critical times that make a difference.
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