Robert McKeithen Memorial Blood Drive

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Would you like to be a part of something bigger than yourself while honoring the memory of Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen? You can do just that at the first-ever Robert McKeithen Memorial Blood Drive in Biloxi tomorrow.

On Tuesday you can back the blue, honor a long-time Biloxi police officer’s memory, and possibly save a life all at once. Just head on over to the Biloxi Visitor’s Center across from the Lighthouse on Porter Avenue any time Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a blood drive held in honor of Officer Robert McKeithen who lost his life back in May of 2019 when he was attacked in the parking lot of the Biloxi Police Station Headquarters. Vitalant Donor Recruitment Representative John Pace said, “I’ve grown very close to his widow, Ms. Pamela. We’ve talked and shared. She thinks he would be very proud of this. Everybody I’ve talked to and met say this is the very thing he would be pleased with.”

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Pace is hoping for at least 100 donors. “It was a sick day back in March when I watched 65-percent of my drives die in one day.  Our drives are connected to your churches, houses of worship, schools, social activities, to all the things that aren’t happening anymore. Finding blood has been very difficult. We are in critical need of blood.”

Of course, COVID precautions will be taken. “We have to address that we live in a new age-a pandemic, and you already have to donate blood in a sterile environment, so the sanitizing and all that is already in place. Social distancing is in place. We keep people in their chair. They wait their time until it’s their time to leave. Masks are required for all donors, all volunteers and all staff.”

The entire process takes about 30 minutes, but you can fast track it by pre-registering online. All donors will get a shirt plus much more. “Make an appointment at bloodhero.com. We’ll feed you some good pizza and drinks from Coca-Cola, and this cool shirt I designed.”

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!