Red Cross Gift-of-Life Marathon Issues Community Challenge

Red Cross Gift-of-Life Marathon Issues Community Challenge

Red Cross Gift-of-Life Marathon Issues Community Challenge

The American Red Cross recently celebrated Jessie Forrest, who has retired after 20 years of coordinating blood drives in Manchester.

The American Red Cross recently celebrated Jessie Forrest, who has retired after 20 years of coordinating blood drives in Manchester.

Planners of the 2017 Gift-of- Life Marathon blood drive are appealing to the competitive nature of the Greater Rutland area with the addition of a Community Challenge that will help keep the blood supply strong as well as reward the winning team with bragging rights and a uniquely Vermont prize. Planners of this year’s event are inviting area businesses, civic groups, churches and clubs to see which can recruit the largest team of donors to make sure that blood is always available whenever and wherever it is needed. The winning team will be recognized with their name engraved on a trophy and will be treated to a maple creemee party for up to 100 employees, courtesy of the Vermont Truffle Company.

“Rutland’s business and civic leaders are always supportive of a good cause,” said Steve Costello, vice president of customer care for Green Mountain Power, one of the co-sponsors of this event. “In 2013 the Gift-of-Life Marathon set a national one-day record for blood donations when we collected 2,350 pints of lifesaving blood. I believe our local businesses and civic groups love a challenge, so may the best team win!”

To compete in the Community Challenge, teams must be registered prior to the event; call Julia Maille at 802-497- 6780 or e-mail julia.maille@redcross.org. This year’s Gift-of-Life Marathon will be held on three consecutive days: at Castleton University on Wednesday, December 20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and at the Rutland Holiday Inn on Thursday, December 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, December 22, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All presenting donors at this year’s blood drive will receive a gift bag filled with items donated by local businesses.

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800- 733-2767. The Red Cross has added more than 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

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