Tuesday, July 21—RUTLAND—With appointments well below target, organizers of Rutland’s Gift-of-Life Summer Mini Marathon Blood Drive have issued an urgent appeal for donors.
“We have less than a third the number of appointments we are hoping for, so we urge anyone eligible to sign up today,” said organizer Steve Costello, vice-president at Green Mountain Power (GMP). “Summer is always a difficult time to collect blood, and this summer the numbers are seriously lagging behind past years.”
“The greater Rutland community has always come through for patients who need blood, and we are optimistic they’ll come through again,” said WJJR Program Director Terry Jaye, co-organizer of the event. “That said, now’s the time to come through and make an appointment.”
The Gift-of-Life Summer Mini Marathon will be held Tuesday, July 21, from noon to 6 p.m., at the Paramount Theatre. Appointments, which are strongly suggested, may be made by calling 800-RED-CROSS or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org. Organizers hope to fill hundreds of appointment slots, with walk-ins accepted to fill in for no-shows or otherwise given a specific time to return.
The goal is to collect 350 to 400 pints with minimal or no waiting.
The summer drive is a spinoff of Rutland’s Gift-of-Life Marathon, or GOLM, held each December. The GOLM began in 2003, when 368 pints were collected. The December drive set the national one-day blood drive record of 2,350 pints in 2013, a record Rutland still holds. Last year the one-day marathon transitioned into the GOLM 12 Days of Giving–a marathon of a different sort.
The event is sponsored by GMP and WJJR, with support from the Paramount Theatre. Donors can expect a great lunch, a festive atmosphere and insider’s views of the Paramount stage and dressing rooms.
Anyone 16 years old or older is eligible to donate blood in Vermont. Parents may accompany their children to the drive, or may go online, print and sign a consent form, which 16-year-olds must bring to the drive. The form is at www.redcrossblood.org/students/sixteen/nne. All presenting donors must also present a photo ID or Red Cross donor card.
Parking in Rutland’s downtown parking garage will be free the day of the drive.