Blood drive to be held in memory of student athlete Jaden Blake

Jaden Blake preparing to pole vault.

The Office of Student Life and Versiti Blood Center of Michigan will host a blood drive on March 29-30 in memory of Jaden Blake, a Grand Valley student athlete who passed away in November 2022. 

Blake competed as a pole vaulter on GVSU’s track and field team during the 2021-22 season. He was a sophomore from Chicago who, beyond passion for his sport, was also invested in civic engagement and community service. Blake attended multiple marches across the country following the death of George Floyd in 2020, and helped spearhead the Chicago Children’s March Against Racism with the Chicago chapter of Jack and Jill. He was also a huge proponent of participating in blood drives according to his family, who said that he was fascinated by the number of people that could be helped with a single donation. 

After his passing, Blake’s family began the Jaden Sebastian Blake Foundation to honor his life and legacy. In keeping with what he was passionate about, the Foundation strives to “provide support and scholarships for African American youth who aspire to participate in non-traditional sports and to raise the awareness of and participation in blood and organ donation for members of African American communities nationwide.” 

The upcoming blood drive will take place in Kirkhof Center 2215 & 2216. Appointments are available for sign-up on from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on March 29, and 10 a.m. - 4p.m. on March 30


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