On July 19, 2023

Thanks for donating blood


Dear Editor,

Despite the storm, Pete Giancola Gift-of-Life Mini Marathon on Tuesday, July 12 turned out to be quite amazing! Thanks to the Red Cross staff, volunteers, and the many, many people who turned out despite the challenges, we had a remarkable day.

After an incredible push in the final 48 hours before the drive, we filled our appointment slots and were on pace to do around 250 pints. Unfortunately, numerous Red Cross staff from Burlington got stranded by flood waters Monday night in Barre, and New Hampshire staff who were supposed to come over and help were also unable to get to Rutland because of all the east-west roads being flooded and damaged.

As a result, the drive’s goal was slashed to just 55 pints, which was especially disappointing, given the need this time of year. We had to cancel the portion of the drive at the Elks Club.

Despite that, Red Cross staff and dozens of volunteers banded together and vastly exceeded our expectations. They were able to collect 120 pints of blood, more than twice our goal at that point. This is a testament to Rutland and Rutland County, which always comes through in the clutch.

Given the loss of the Elks Club drive, the Red Cross has scheduled several more drives in Rutland County in the coming weeks. Donors whose appointments were canceled, and other donors, can make appointments at  redcrossblood.org or by calling 800-Red-Cross.

This drive is a success thanks to great support from Green Mountain Power, WJJR, the Red Cross, volunteers, donors, and the Giancola family. We’re already planning the 2023 Gift-of-Life Marathon in December, which will mark the 10th anniversary of the national-record-setting drive in 2013. The record of 2,360 pints in one day still stands.

Steve Costello, Rutland

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