Organizers hope to 'grow' momentum with Mini-Marathon
this past Tuesday
RUTLAND - Organizers of Rutland's two major blood drives are hoping
blood donors this week help "grow" momentum toward a
national-record-breaking blood drive in December with the
Gift-of-Life Mini Marathon, held Tuesday, July 16.
On July 10, organizers announced that they and the American Red
Cross have agreed to make one more attempt at the national one-day
blood drive record on Dec. 17, and set out two challenges to the
greater Rutland Community: If 400 pints of blood are collected at
the Mini Marathon at the Paramount Theatre on Tuesday, Rutland
Mayor Chris Louras, WJJR's Terry Jaye and Green Mountain Power's
Steve Costello will stop shaving and grow their beards, untrimmed,
until the GOLM. If Rutland breaks the national record of
1,968 pints in December, they will get Red Cross tattoos to
commemorate the record.
"Assuming we make the goal on Tuesday, our scraggy beards will
be reminders of the upcoming GOLM for every person we encounter,"
Mayor Louras said. "This will definitely be Rutland's last
shot at the national record, so we wanted to come up with an idea
that would keep the drive on people's minds every day until
Last year's GOLM, which collected 1,955 pints, just short of the
national record of 1,968, was supposed to be the last "mega-drive"
in New England due to the resources required to manage such events,
which require about 200 Red Cross workers, many traveling from
distant states. The Red Cross agreed to give Rutland one more
attempt at the record after discussions over several months with
Costello and GMP President and CEO Mary Powell.
"The 2011 drive was plagued with long waits, which had an effect
on turnout last year," Costello said. "Last year's drive went
incredibly smoothly, and convinced us that the record was
achievable, and that Rutland deserved another shot."
"It is amazing that a community the size of Rutland is even part
of the national-record discussion," Powell said. "Given the spirit
and drive the community has shown, I just couldn't see the GOLM
shrinking or changing without finishing what the community set out
to do, which is set the national record. So we will do
everything we can to help Rutland achieve that goal."
For now, attention will turn to Tuesday's Mini Marathon, which
ran from 12-noon to 6 p.m.
"The need is always there, but supplies are low, and we want to
help fill that void on Tuesday," said Terry Jaye, program manager
at WJJR, which co-organizes the blood drives with GMP. "If we
meet the goal, I look forward to being a walking, bearded reminder
that Rutland will get one last shot at the national record in