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June 15, 2013

County tops city in annual blood drive

CULLMAN — Taking time out of his lunch hour Friday, Vinemont Elementary principal Tony Johnson rested his arm on a chair inside the American Red Cross mobile blood donor center located at the Cullman County Courthouse.

“I was in town doing some errands for the school, and thought I’d drop by and give blood,” Johnson said. “I try and give regularly.”

Meanwhile, several blocks over, Cullman Assistant Police Chief Craig Green was doing the same.

“I often see the need for it,” Green said. “For some, it means life or death, so for me to do this is just a small sacrifice on my part. I’m glad to do it.”

Both Johnson and Green were two of many who turned out to four different locations throughout the day to participate in the annual City-County blood drive. 

The county had stations set up at the courthouse, as well as at Walmart, while the city had LifeSouth busses at Festhalle Market Platz, and Cullman Shopping Center.

“With LifeSouth, the blood they collect stays close to home, so this gives citizens a chance to give back,” city organizer Carmen Parker said.

According to county organizer Cherrie Haney, the blood drive is timed each year to supply donations at the start of what typically is a period of crucial need.

“Summer is a very busy time,” Haney said. “Everyone is on vacation, out on the water, and doing a lot of activities outside. We all know we need blood, but we just forget to give it.”

By days end, 163 units were collected. Red Cross buses, which supported the county, received 97 units of blood for this year’s drive, while LifeSouth took in 66 units for the city.

Heading into the friendly competition, Haney said the goal for the county to collect was 200. Though they fell short, she added she was appreciative of what was received.

“Things didn’t go as well as we had hoped, but if you stop and think, those 97 units we did receive will help to save the lives of three people .”

*Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 135, or by email at agraves@cullmantimes.com

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