Local News

Monday, Jan 14 2013 04:41 PM

Tejon Ranch donates $250,000 to new blood bank

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Tejon Ranch Company is donating $250,000 to the Houchin Community Blood Bank for its new facility in southwest Bakersfield and for its gift-giving will have the lobby named for it.

It ties for the single largest donation to the project's capital campaign, the other being an anonymous gift in honor of Donald and Verda Sargeant for naming rights of the platelet wing.

Tejon is also having a mural done for the lobby with a western, ranch-like theme that interestingly compliments the modern style of the new blood bank, said Houchin CEO Greg Gallion.

"It's a strong endorsement of the life-saving work we do," he said of Tejon's overall contribution.

"Tejon Ranch is excited to partner with Houchin Blood Bank," Bob Stine, president and CEO of Tejon Ranch Company, said in a news release. "Their services are vital to the health of local families, and we welcome the opportunity to make this donation and to provide for Kern County's future."

Houchin has been building a $10 million, 42,000-square-foot complex at Buena Vista Road and Bolthouse Drive. It's designed to consolidate services that have been housed at several different locations.

Those services include: laboratory, quality assurance, manufacturing, distribution, information technology, community development, telerecruiting and transportation. There's a full donor drawing site; blood continues to be drawn, though, at the blood bank's Truxtun Avenue location.

The facility is scheduled to open to the public for use in late February or early March, Gallion said.

Houchin, the only blood bank in Kern County, supplies all local hospitals plus private cancer and blood disease treatment facilities, dialysis centers and home health agencies.

Tejon Ranch south of Bakersfield is the largest contiguous piece of private property in California and is home to ranching and farming operations, oil production, mining, recreational activities and some real estate development.

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