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Home  |  News  |  Second annual “Boots and Badges” competition to kick-off Memorial Day Weekend

Second annual “Boots and Badges” competition to kick-off Memorial Day Weekend
Monday, May 16, 2011

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia Police Department and Columbia-Richland Fire Department are partnering with the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region Memorial Day weekend for the second annual “Boots and Badges” blood drive. The event will be held at the American Red Cross Columbia Donation Center, 2751 Bull St., 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 27-28, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, May 30-June 1.

Columbia-area residents are invited to show their support for local firefighters and police officers and become a hero this summer by giving blood for a patient in need. Community blood supplies are typically scarce during holiday periods due to high school and college summer breaks and family vacations; however, the blood supply doesn’t take a vacation and patients continue to need lifesaving blood. To help offset the strain placed on the blood supply during the start of summer, the second annual “Boots and Badges” blood drive competition is being held to increase donations during Memorial Day weekend.

Firefighters and Police Officers, their family members and friends, along with community supporters are invited to participate. All donors at the “Boots and Badges” blood drive will receive a free “Boots and Badges” T-shirt, a chance to vote for their favorite “team” — “Boots”-firefighters or “Badges”-police officers — plus a chance to win two domestic airline tickets from Delta Air Lines through the Red Cross “Spring to the Skies” promotion.

For every unit of blood collected, the Red Cross will tally one vote for the Columbia-Richland Fire Department or the Columbia Police Department based on the donors’ choice. At the end of the drive, the Red Cross will announce the department with the most votes and honor the winner with a commemorative plaque.

The 2010 “Boots and Badges” blood drive was a great success resulting in a total of 297 units of blood collected with the Boots team, the Columbia-Richland Fire Department, winning the competition. The departments’ goal this year is to surpass 300 donations.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to patients in 54 hospitals. Approximately 500 people need to give blood or platelets each week day to meet hospital demand.

The Red Cross encourages people who are in good health to donate so that hospital patients have the blood or platelets they need to make a full recovery. Blood is needed to help treat a variety of patients including accident victims and individuals undergoing surgery and cancer treatment.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood at the “Boots and Badges” blood drive, contact Kimberly Reaves at 803-251-6007 or reaveskd@usa.redcross.org. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to learn more about giving blood or platelets.

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