Blazers rally for blood - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Blazers rally for blood

February 21, 2006

Valdosta - For the first time in a long time, the Red Cross’s donor chairs are all filled up. In fact, workers can barely keep up with the number of donors coming in. "This blood drive is huge for the Red Cross," said Kathy Dallas, District Manager.

It’s the annual Blazin Blood Drive, sponsored by Coach Chris Hatcher and the VSU Football team. In just the first two hours of the drive, more than 75 units were collected! "Each of our players is required to come up with four units of blood, whether they give or go around campus and get four people to give," said Hatcher.

The drive gets bigger each year.  "We started with around 150 units, the second year it increased by 100," said Hatcher.

And this time they’re striving for a goal of 400 units. "If they reach their goal today, it will be the largest drive within our region, the whole state of Georgia essentially," said Dallas.

The donations couldn’t come at a more critical time. "People get the flu, its after the holidays, so its typically a dip in our collections and to collect 400 units in one day at one facility is just great for us," said Dallas.

Many of the football players are braving their fears and giving blood for the first time.  "Its not too bad, you just sit here and let them go to work," said Jeremy Privett, VSU Quarterback.

And a little encouragement from Coach may just turn them into lifelong donors, making them winners both on and off of the football field.

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