Tuesday, July 11 — RUTLAND— Organizers of the Pete Giancola Gift-of-Life Mini Marathon Blood drive are calling on all eligible donors to sign up for the July 11 drive and receive a host of gifts for the effort.
Appointments are well behind target with less than two weeks before the drive, the second-largest blood drive each year in Vermont. All blood types are needed, with summertime creating the usual dip in supplies with schools and colleges out of session.
The drive, at the Rutland Elks Club and Noel’s Franklin Events Center at Howe Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 11, has nearly 100 open slots at this point, more than 50 fewer than at this same time last year.
“We’re not sure why, but we need to redouble our efforts to get donors signed up and help ensure an adequate supply in the region,” said Steve Costello, one of the organizers. “The need doesn’t disappear if donors don’t turn out.”
The drive, a spinoff of the record-setting Gift-of-Life Marathon held each December, is named for local musician and businessman Pete Giancola, who died after a 10-year battle with cancer — a fight aided by countless blood donors who helped Pete combat the illness. His family credits blood donors with giving Giancola years of life, and said donors not only helped provide time, but an improved quality of life.
Donors will receive a dry-bag for boating or camping, a book about Vermont’s working forests and landscapes, a pen from sponsor Green Mountain Power, and a $15 gift card.
Appointments for whole blood and double red cell donations are available by calling 800-RED-CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.