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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Blood donors sought Islandwide

A pint of blood from a donor will be worth $100 to local Island charities in the Islandwide blood drive Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6.

It is the fourth annual blood drive, and the largest blood collection event all year for the Manatee Community Blood Center.

This blood drive is a win-win for Island charities - an anonymous benefactor has offered to donate $100 per blood donor to one of four Island groups, or shared among the charities, for each pint of blood given.

Receiving groups include the Anna Maria Island Community Center, the Anna Maria Island Privateers, the West Manatee Fire and Rescue Volunteers and Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education. All four groups are based on Anna Maria Island.

The Island charities are "rallying" their supporters to give during the Islandwide drive, which can result in upwards of $10,000 to the non-profits. In fact, the benefactor has removed the 100 donor, $10,000 donation ceiling and the "sky's the limit."

Wildlife Inc. of Bradenton Beach reports more than 100 donors are already registered to give blood and their $100 reward to the organization headed by Gail Straight.

And the fire department volunteers are enlisting other departments - and sharing their "rewards - to build up their numbers.

The Privateers are recruiting donors at events such as their recent golf tournament and will be hailing potential donors from their float/boat near the Kingfish Boat Ramp the two days of the blood drive. Their funds are earmarked for youth scholarships.

Sandee Pruitt of the Center said they will be calling potential donors and mailing notices within the week.

The Center is offering some incentives to donors who designate their $100 donation to their charity:

  • Free registration for a youth to attend summer camp at the Center, a $15 value, and a donor's name will be drawn for a free week at the summer camp, an $80 value.
  • Free membership in the Center for one year, $15 value.
  • Center membership for a senior (55 and up) for a year, a $20 value.
  • Passes to use the Center's tennis courts, $10 value.

Blood will be taken from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at three Island locations: In Anna Maria, at sponsors Marina Pointe Realty and A Pine Avenue Salon, 314 Pine Ave.; at Holmes Beach sponsor The Islander newspaper office, 5404 Marina Drive; and in Bradenton Beach at the sponsoring Beach House Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N.

The first 300 donors will receive commemorative T-shirts. All donors receive orange juice and/or water from Tropicana and Pepsi, and a cookie from the sponsors.