The Mountain Times

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Give the gift of life

Last year 1,954 people donated blood in Rutland's Gift of Life Marathon, the record for participation in U.S. history but the community misses record for pints by just 14.
"We missed the record by 7/10ths of 1 percent," said Steve Costello of GMP a co-organizer of the drive after receiving the final tally.
Manchester's record-breaking drive of 1,968 pints featured 1,834 individual donors, 120 fewer, but many made double-red cell donations, which count as two pints apiece.
Last year, that was not an option for Rutland donors, but this year it will be at three of the locations: the Elks Club, CSJ or Holiday Inn, which is joining the GOLM effort for the first time. The other two locations are the Paramount Theatre and the American Legion.
First-time donors have been a focus of the GOLM efforts throughout the past 10 years. Last year the drive attracted 329 first-time donors, about one in six of the total that donated. That included dozens of 16-year-olds, who were allowed to donate for the first time last year after new legislation passed.
"If you have never donated blood before, this is the drive to do it," said co-organizer Terry Jaye of Catamount Radio. In an effort to help promote new student donor, Castleton State College has joined as a third sponsor and organizer of the event.
The GOLM began in 2003, when 368 pints were collected. The event broke the one-day New England community blood drive record in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2011, Manchester, N.H., broke the New England and national records with 1,968 pints; Rutland collected 1,855 pints at the GOLM in 2011 and 1,955 pints last December, the second-largest community blood collection in U.S. history.
The blood drive will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are strongly encouraged, please call 800-RED-CROSS.