GREAT FALLS -- For a fourth straight year, the American Red Cross is holding a state wide #TroyStrong blood drive, which will take place in seven cities across the month of June.
The event is named for Troy Ross, a Great Falls six-year-old and the son of Great Falls Central football coach Wes Ross, whose life was saved by multiple blood transfusions after he was diagnosed with a rare immune disease in 2017.
The first drive is scheduled for June 2 in Havre, and hosted by the MSU-Northern football team. It will be held at the Fifth Avenue Christian Church from noon to 5 p.m.
“These types of things are a big part of what we do,” said MSU-Northern head coach Andrew Rolin. “We want to give back to others, but it’s bigger than that. The blood that's donated is going across the country. And so it’s just an opportunity for our kids to really learn to be selfless and to be servant leaders and for them to learn Troy’s story and personally know him.”
When Troy was originally hospitalized, support came pouring in from all corners of the state. So the #TroyStrong blood drive, organized by Wes and his wife Callie, is a way to pay back some of that support and hopefully save some lives in the process.
“We never thought in our wildest dreams we’d ever see the support we received back in 2017 to now,” said coach Ross. “So if we can ever give back in some capacity, that’s one area where we can really make a big impact right now. And hopefully in the future we can do some additional things.”
In addition to the Havre event, there will be drives held in Kalispell, Billings and Helena on June 23rd, in Missoula and Great Falls on June 24th and in Bozeman on June 29th.
To reserve a time slot visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: TROYSTRONG.