Organizers of the Gift-of-Life Marathon, hoping to break the national one-day blood drive record, will hold a marathon of their own to promote it: a 1,969-minute radio marathon, one minute for every pint needed to break the national record.
Terry Jaye from WJJR and Steve Costello from Green Mountain Power will broadcast live from 6 a.m. Thursday until midafternoon the next day to raise awareness of the Dec. 17 event.
“We continue to look for ways to pull Rutland over the top this year, and what better way to promote the marathon than by having a marathon,” Costello said in a statement announcing the radio marathon. “We are going all in, and hope to inspire others to do whatever they can to help the GOLM be a success, whether as a donor or volunteer.”
“We’ve done some crazy stuff over the years, but this may be the craziest,” Jaye said in the statement. “But we were so close as a community last year that we want to do everything possible to spread the word and give Rutland the best chance possible to break the record this year.”
Jaye and Costello will be joined throughout the nearly 33-hour marathon by dozens of local residents and community leaders who will stop in, including Dave Wolk from Castleton State College, who recently signed on as co-sponsor of the drive, and blood donors, recipients and volunteers.
“WJJR will be playing music as usual, but we’ll have special guests every hour to talk about why they donate blood, the meaning they find in volunteering, or how a blood donation affected their lives,” Costello added in the statement.
The blood drive will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Paramount Theatre, American Legion, College of St. Joseph, Elks Club and Holiday Inn, which is joining the GOLM effort for the first time. Double red cell donations may be made at the Elks Club, CSJ or Holiday Inn.
Appointments, which are recommended, may be made by calling 800-RED-CROSS or at www.redcrossblood.org. Donors must be at least 16, in good health, and show a photo ID or Red Cross donor card. Sixteen-year-olds may donate with parental consent, provided in person at the drive or by a consent form available on the Red Cross website. For more information, visit www.giftoflifemarathon.com.
The GOLM collected 368 pints in its first year, 2003. After setting state and northern New England records several times, the GOLM broke the New England record for a one-day community blood drive in 2008, 2009 and 2010, beating Boston each time. Manchester, N.H., broke the New England and national record in 2011. The GOLM collected 1,955 pints last year, 13 shy of tying the record and making the GOLM the second-largest one-day drive in the country, the largest per capita.
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