Blood drive, fundraisers today and Sunday

by Anna Purdy

Today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. United Blood Services will be downtown in honor of Danny Morris and Nathan Crowson.

Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. United Blood Services will be downtown in honor of Danny Morris and Nathan Crowson.

On Jan. 21 Morris, along with his friend Crowson, were riding bicycles in Baton Rouge when a drunk driver hit them. Crowson died at the scene and leaves behind a 5-year-old daughter. Morris is hospitalized in critical condition and badly needs help.

Blood donations under a patient's name work as credit to their medical bills, defering a certain amount of money per donation. For a few minutes of your time and a bandage you can help Morris' family with the mounting medical debt and donate blood to someone who needs it as well. Nonprofit organization BikeLafayette is organizing this event. The blood drive van will be parked at Parc Sans Souci today from 1-4 p.m across from Recycled Cycles downtown.

In an email interview this morning with Tony Bonomolo, one of the founders of BikeLafayette, he said, "BikeLafayette set up this blood drive because we believe in community. Though most if not all, I included, have never met Danny or Nathan the bicycle community is not a regional community but rather a community of people who care deeply for our fellow cyclists. We stick together in the good times and grow our relationships in the tough times."

Another downtown store, Carpe Diem Gelato-Espresso Bar has pledged to help: For every person who goes into the shop wearing a blood donation badge today a 15 percent discount will be given.

According to WAFB in Baton Rouge, Crowson and Morris were hit on the 6100 block of Perkins Road Saturday night when Joseph Branch hit them in his vehicle. His blood alcohol level was a staggering .307 percent, three times the legal limit. The limit in Louisiana is .08. It's estimated that Branch left Baton Rouge bar The Bulldog minutes before the crash. As of Friday morning Branch is still in jail on a $90,000 bond.

BikeLafayette is also organizing a bike ride fundraiser on Sunday. That day, says Bonomolo, "Rivals Downtown and Carpe Diem will be giving a portion of that days profits to split between the fund for Nathan's daughter and Danny's family."

If you patronize either business that day simply say, "I'm helping Danny and Nathan" and a portion of your bill will be donated. The tribute ride begins Jan. 29 at 2 p.m. leaving Parc Sans Souci and will end at Acadiana Open Channel. Fellow BikeLafayette member Jon Langlinais will lead the ride. For more information on Sunday's fundraiser, click here.