Rivalry keeps blood drive alive

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leading up to the Iron Bowl, adrenaline seems to get the blood of Alabama and Auburn fans flowing a bit faster. American Red Cross volunteer Cel Etheredge, 95, plans to take advantage of that for the 25th time this year.

“I want to encourage everyone to challenge friends, family and co-workers to donate at Ms. Cel’s blood drive,” said Katy Stowe, spokesperson for the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast region of the ARC. “Maybe you weren’t a hero on the football field, but you can be a hero off the field by simply donating a pint of blood.”

The 25th annual Shelby County Blood Bowl Blood Drive is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 14 from 7 a.m.–7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express of Highway 119 in Pelham.

Those who donate blood during the drive receive a T-shirt and be entered in a drawing to win autographed football memorabilia or the grand prize –– two tickets to the 2008 Iron Bowl. The tickets were donated by B.E. and K Construction.

The event helps the American Red Cross bolster the blood supply just before the beginning of the holiday travel season. For those who find themselves in need of blood due to accidents, natural disasters or the need for surgery, the holidays can be a time of uncertainty as blood supplies are generally low.

Etheredge meanwhile has been a blood drive hero in Shelby County for the last 30 years. She began this blood drive with her sister 25 years ago and has volunteered a total of 30 years with the American Red Cross in Shelby County. She originally began her service with the Red Cross during World War II.

Blood donors can save up to two lives per donation. That can make a huge impact considering someone in America needs blood every two seconds. The Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Region needs at least 800 donations per day just to meet the current need.

To be eligible to donate blood you must be 17 (or 16 if accompanied by a parent), be in good general health, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid photo ID or ARC donor card.

Blood donors during the month of November will be entered to win a $1,000 gift card. To make an appointment, visit www.givelife.org and enter the sponsor code FOOTBALL.