RUTLAND—With blood supplies notoriously low during the summer, the third annual Pete Giancola Mini Marathon Blood Drive has been scheduled for mid-July.
Donors will receive a free Hydro Flask from Come Alive Outside and a $10 gift card thanks to Suburban Propane, while supplies last.
Appointments, which are highly recommended for the July 12 drive at the U.S. Army Reserve on Post Road in Rutland Town, are available between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. by calling 800-RED-CROSS or at redcrossblood.org.
Giancola’s family is urging the greater-Rutland community to donate blood in his memory to help ensure blood is available for accident victims, cancer patients and people needing surgery. Giancola died in March 2020 after a 10-year battle with cancer, and relied on blood donors who improved his quality of life and helped him survive much longer than his doctors expected.
“Blood donations were truly the gift of life for my dad for many years,” daughter Gabriella Giancola said. “Every time he received blood, it provided him with a new lease on life.
“His energy level would increase, and you could see his color and outlook improve,” she said. “Blood donors gave my dad and our entire family invaluable time to enjoy each other’s company and life in general, so we want to encourage our friends and family to give back so other families can enjoy those same impacts in their lives.”
The Mini GOLM goal is 256 pints and is sponsored by Green Mountain Power with support from former radio personality Terry Jaye. It is a spinoff of the national-record-setting Gift-of-Life Marathon. The GOLM began as an ordinary blood drive but over time grew into the largest blood drive in American history, setting a national record in 2013.
“The greater-Rutland community always rallies to make a difference. Collecting blood donations is critical and will save lives, helping hundreds of families in Vermont and across the region,” said GMP Vice President Steve Costello. “Each of those families will have a story like Pete Giancola’s family.”
“The blood we collect in Pete’s memory will help newborn babies and new mothers, cancer victims like Pete, accident survivors, and people with medical conditions that require regular transfusions of blood or blood components,” Costello said.
For Jaye, a longtime friend who often played in bands with Giancola and witnessed his generosity to charity, the Mini GOLM in his memory has special meaning. “Pete would often be the most talented member of whatever group he was playing with, but he always shared the limelight with everyone,” Jaye said. “He exuded fun and lived life to the fullest, and this drive is all about helping others do the same.”
Due to Covid-19, the American Red Cross is taking special precautions to protect donors and staff, practice social distancing, and ensure a safe blood supply. Appointments are strongly encouraged and will be critical to reaching the goal.
For more information or to make an appointment, visit: redcrossblood.org.