Charity blood drive planned

Juice up and roll up a sleeve.

The annual Island Blood Drive is set for Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Donors can schedule appointments at, but walk-ins are welcome — even the norm.

The annual event serves two purposes — collecting blood for the Florida Blood Services, the largest donor testing service in the country, and generating income for local charities. The five beneficiaries are the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Anna Maria Island Privateers, Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island, Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation and West Manatee Fire Rescue Auxiliary.

The charitable funding comes from an anonymous family foundation, which pledges to contribute $100 for each good unit of blood donated and $200 for each good unit drawn through the Alyx system, which doubles the number of red blood cells collected.

The blood donors designate their favorite charity or charities from the five, all of which rely on the blood drive as an important source of income. The 2010 drive generated nearly $40,000 for the nonprofits, including $16,615 for Wildlife Inc., $7,933 for the center, $7,482 for the fire auxiliary, $6,715 for the privateers, $1,750 for the rotary club.

The first 250 donors receive an Island Blood Drive T-shirt.

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