More than 100 donations made during Battle of the Badges blood drive

HOOVER – Hoover’s police department topped the fire department in the first Battle of the Badges blood drive on July 25, but the real winners were the American Red Cross and the people it serves.

Zack Brantley, senior account manager for the Red Cross, said 101 successful donations were made as the drive attained the goal of 100 donations.

Donors were asked to vote for their favorite agency, and of those who responded, 67 voted for Hoover Police Department and 36 voted for Hoover Fire Department.

Among the donors was Greg Wright of Vincent, who goes by the road name “Big Chubby” in the Gangsta G’s Motorcycle Club.

While some such clubs may have a bad reputation, Wright said the Gangsta G’s, which stands for “good guys,” serve those who protect others.

“That’s what our duty is, to support law enforcement,” said Wright, who was previously a police officer in Oxford and Talladega.

The Gangsta G’s stop if they see an officer making a traffic stop, for example, in case the officer needs assistance or a witness.

On July 25, Wright helped by donating two pints of blood.

Donations were collected on the second floor of the Hoover Public Safety Center off Valleydale Road.

Donors were given a free Battle of the Badges T-shirt.

The agencies took to social media to encourage residents—along with police officers and firefighters themselves—to donate.

“I think people heard about it on social media and wanted to support these agencies,” Brantley said. “This is a nationwide effort but the first time we’ve ever done it in Hoover.”