giving credit for my “brilliant” acts

Almost thirty years ago at BASS Tickets we started a campaign with the various police agencies to remove guns from the streets (yes, 30 years ago). Working with various teams, theaters, arts, etc in the Bay Area, we had tickets donated and we set up exchanges (“guns for tickets”) in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, San Jose) and had over 1000 weapons exchanged for tickets to the Giants, A’s, Warriors, Shorenstein theaters, SF Ballet, etc. Much plaudits all around.

OK, I stole the idea from Barry Finkenberg of Ticketmaster, New Mexico, who did it first.

And here is how the blood drives came about: I am friends with a number of people in Houston who have nothing to do with Roller Derby, whom I have never met, and a number of them are to the right of Genghis Khan, but we still are friends on Facebook. Well one, Scott Bland, who left Houston (and is much more to “my” side) visited the Bay Area, and asked me to get in contact with his friend Tom Petty (no, not that one) who runs a great SEO company in Livermore CA and is an official in the Red Cross. (I am proud to say I served on the Bay Area Board of the American Red Cross for two years…it is such an amazing organization>). He thought if somehow we could get Roller Derby Leagues involved it would be outstanding. (And of course Brown Paper Tickets will work with anyone for community, never a consideration of revenue or profit), and that is how the whole blood drive thing started.

And luckily, we became associated with Hanna Malak, a young executive with the Red Cross, who just made it happen from his end, and of course with Steve Butcher, Jocelyn Ceder, Barb Morgen, and Stephanie and Amanda from Brown Paper Tickets involved, it has turned into one of the most successful sources for donors for the Red Cross in Northern California (saving 3 lives for each pint donated!). And now it has spread to New England, where Suzanne of the Red Cross has carried it to 7 leagues. (to see the drive closest to you, go to, keyword “Derby” to keep up to date with the leagues who are involved). And actually Roller Derby Santa Cruz had pioneered the drives in Northern California the year before, and their template is so great that we send it to the other leagues to follow.

The point here, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel… much out there is relevant to what you want to do…..steal nicely.

I did.

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