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Rutland leaders get tattoos commemorating Rutland's record-breaking blood drive

Steve IMG_6484

Photos by Polly Lynn

Steve Costello examine's his tattoo in progress.

Steve Costello of GMP, Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras and Terry Jaye of WJJR arrived at Green Mountain Body Art just after 12-noon Friday, Jan. 17 to get tattoos commemorating the Gift of Life Marathon record. It was a promise they made as a PR stunt to promote the event - It worked. Exactly a month prior, on Dec. 17, the Rutland community set a new national record for pints collected in a one-day drive, crushing the previous record by 382 pints.
"A month ago today was a huge day for all of us," said Jaye. "We didn't know we'd break the record by that much… I'll proudly wear it [the tattoo], I want people to ask me about it, I want to tell the story of how Rutland collected 2350 pints."
Entering the parlor, the three looked less confident and less excited than they had discussing the idea leading up to the drive. This was a new experience for all three.
"This is the first and last tattoo I'll get," said Louras. Adding that, although he's "shamelessly getting the smallest tattoo possible," he'll wear it with honor, "it speaks to pride in our community."
In previous years, these Rutland leaders have shaved their heads into Mohawks and spent six months growing beards to promote past record attempts - but this is the first permanent symbol. "I think my wife actually prefers this one to the beard," said Costello. "By the end of six months I had a full grey beard down to here," he said pointing to his belly button. "Like ZZ Top."
Costello, who was admittedly the most nervous, was also planning to get more ink than his companions.
"Mine didn't have to be redesigned because it was too small," Costello said referring to the design Louras and Jaye had submitted, which had to be sized up in order to include the number of pints, in addition to the cross. Costello's design included the words "Gift-of-Life" above the red cross, blood drop and number, and "Marathon" below it. He got it on his right shoulder.
Louras went with the red cross, blood drop and number. He got it on his right inner forearm.
Terry Jaye went just a bit simpler - a red cross with the number underneath, which he also got on his right shoulder.
Andrew Clingenpeel at Green Mountain Body Art was the artist responsible for finalizing the design and tattooing, which he did with impressive precision.