Local News
December 6, 2017

Annual Gift-of-Life Marathon helps keep the blood supply strong

New Community Challenge will award winner with sweet treats (maple creemees!) and bragging rights

RUTLAND—Planners of the 2017 Gift-of-Life Marathon blood drive are appealing to the competitive nature of the greater Rutland area with the addition of a Community Challenge that will help keep the blood supply strong as well as reward the winning team with bragging rights and a uniquely Vermont prize.

Planners of this year’s event are inviting area businesses, civic groups, churches and clubs to see which can recruit the largest team of donors to “lend an arm” to make sure that blood is always available whenever and wherever it is needed.

The winning team will be recognized with its name engraved on a Gift-of-Life Marathon Community Challenge trophy. Their team will also be treated to a maple creemee party for up to 100 employees, courtesy of the Vermont Truffle Company.

“Rutland’s business and civic leaders are always supportive of a good cause,” said Steve Costello, vice president of customer care for Green Mountain Power, one of the co-sponsors of this event. “In 2013 the Gift-of-Life Marathon set a national one-day record for blood donations when we collected 2,350 pints of lifesaving blood. I believe our local businesses and civic groups love a challenge, so may the best team win!”

“Vermonters love a good maple creemee,” said Terry Jaye, operations manager for Catamount Radio and co-sponsor of the Gift-of-Life Marathon. “I sense a tough competition coming on, but all for a good cause.”

To compete in the Community Challenge teams must be registered prior to the event. For questions, or to enroll your team please call Julia Maille at 802-497-6780 or email julia.maille@redcross.org.

This year’s Gift-of-Life Marathon will be held on three consecutive days in December:
Dec. 20, Castleton University Campus Center, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 21, Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 22, Holiday Inn, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All presenting donors at this year’s blood drive will receive a gift bag (while supplies last) filled with items donated by area businesses.

How you can help
To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added more than 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Who blood donations help
Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org.

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