The Mountain Times

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Rutland community poised for life-giving record attempt

Gift the gift of life and help Rutland set a national record!

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: Rutland, Vt.
    Paramount Theatre, 30 Center Street
    College of St. Joseph, 71 Clement Road
    American Legion, 33 Washington St.
    Elks Lodge #345, 44-46 Pleasant St.
    Holiday Inn, 476 Holiday Drive

In less than 24 hours, the greater Rutland County community will help save hundreds of lives, and may set a national record in the process. I hope you can join us at the Gift of Life Marathon and donate a pint of blood to save someone in need.
While appointments are full, walk-ins are critical to the effort!

Here are a few pointers to help make it a smooth day:
 *   If you need a ride, please call the office of Castleton College President Dave Wolk, who is offering personal chauffeur service: 468-0212.
 *   Drink plenty of fluids and eat a good breakfast.
 *   Bring a photo ID or Red Cross donor card with you - you can't donate without one.
 *   Park for free in the state garage on West Street.

With more than 2,000 people expected to turn out for the Gift of Life Marathon on Tuesday, we want to encourage everyone to bring a sense of humor and plenty of goodwill!
I hope you can join us.
If you walk in, you can expect a little bit more waiting, but we still expect to get you through quickly. Besides, it's a big party, so come, enjoy yourself, and help save some lives. Oh, and set a national record…

 


RUTLAND, VT - With more than 2,000 people signed up to donate, a small Vermont community is gearing up to take a run at a huge national record.
Organizers of the Gift-of-Life Marathon, set for Tuesday in Rutland, aim to collect at least 1,969 pints of blood - a collection that would outdo New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and Manchester, N.H., which holds the current record of 1,968 pints collected in a single day.
"Despite the number of appointments, we are taking nothing for granted," said Green Mountain Power Vice President Steve Costello, one of the organizers.  "There are too many variables in an event like this to prematurely claim victory.  People can get sick, emergencies come up, and weather can affect turnout, so we'll keep pushing ahead until we know the blood and record are in the bag, literally."
The annual Gift-of-Life Marathon has become a holiday phenomenon over the last 10 years, inspiring a documentary film, "The Blood in This Town," breaking New England records three times, and recording the second- and third-largest blood collections in American history.
"It's shocking to me that a community of less than 16,000 people has done what we have done over the past few years, but I don't think there are many places with the heart and soul that lives here," said WJJR program manager Terry Jaye.  "That being said, we haven't done a thing yet in 2013 - we still have nearly 2,000 pints to collect!"
Castleton College President Dave Wolk, who signed on as the third sponsor of the event this year, along with WJJR and GMP, also sounded a cautionary note as organizers make final preparations.  "The drive came within 13 pints of the national record last year, so we know what disappointment feels like, as if 1,955 was anything to be disappointed about," Wolk said.  "For the next few days, we will continue to do everything in our power to turn out walk-ins and ensure people with appointments keep them."
To that end, Wolk will be driving a shuttle between the college and various blood donation sites, carrying students, faculty and staff, and he will pick up anyone else in the region who wants a ride.  Anyone who needs a ride to the blood drive may call 468-1202 by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to schedule a pickup. If Wolk is fully booked, Castleton Dean of Students Dennis Proulx will drive another van to provide chauffer service.
While most appointment slots are filled, organizers said walk-ins remain critical to the drive.  Some people will forget to show up, some will wake up feeling sick, and others could be prevented from attending due to unforeseen circumstances.  Organizers urged anyone who has an appointment and can't make it to call 800-RED-CROSS to cancel, so someone else can use it.
Officials also note that donors must bring a photo ID or Red Cross donor card, and if 16, must bring a parent or guardian, or a signed parental consent form available at www.redcrossblood.org.
The Gift-of-Life Marathon, which includes donation sites at the Paramount Theatre, College of St. Joseph, American Legion, Elks Club and Holiday Inn, is organized by Castleton College, WJJR and GMP, with lead support from the Paramount Theatre and Small Dog Electronics.
Listen to WJJR, 98.1 FM, throughout the drive for the latest news, or follow live updates throughout the day on Facebook, at twitter.com/GiftofLifeVT and by following #GOLM13. Use #GOLM13 in your own Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts about the event.