01/03/07 — Red Cross starts push for January, February blood donors

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Red Cross starts push for January, February blood donors

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 3, 2007 1:51 PM

The Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross is starting off the new year by giving away three ACC basketballs.

During January and February, blood donors will be entered into a drawing for their choice of a signed basketball from Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or North Carolina State University.

"With such strong ACC ties in our area, we expect this to be a well-received challenge," said Samia Garner, blood services director.

She said the opportunity to win one of the three basketballs is being offered only in Wayne County and only during these two months.

The first ACC basketball blood donor challenge was held last year and was very popular with donors, Mrs. Garner said.

She said January is an "extremely challenging time for blood collections because of recent holiday travel, school closings, winter illnesses and other factors that shrink the donor pool. But the need for blood is still very real."

Mrs. Garner said that hospital patients are at risk of going without blood they need to make a full recovery if the blood supply is low. "Despite the advances in medical science, there is still no substitute for blood -- the gift of life that only volunteer donors can give."

Donors must be at least 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health.

For more information about the second annual ACC basketball blood donor challenge or to find out where a blood drive is being held, contact the Red Cross chapter at 735-7201.

The Red Cross also is gathering items for its fourth annual sports memorabilia auction.

The fundraiser will be Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Lane Tree Country Club. A meal will be served and there will be live entertainment.

A silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. and the live auction will be at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 per person and $250 for a table for eight. They are on sale now at the Red Cross chapter house, 600 N. George St.

Some of the sports items include a basketball signed by former University of North Carolina basketball player Tyler Hansbrough; a basketball signed by former Duke University basketball player J.J. Redick; basketballs signed by teams at UNC, Duke and North Carolina State University; a baseball signed by Nolan Ryan; and a football signed by East Carolina University head football coach Skip Holtz.

There will also be a photograph signed by Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski; a football signed by UNC football coach Butch Davis; a basketball signed by UNC basketball coach Roy Williams; and a football signed by 2005 national champion University of Texas football coach Mack Brown.

Red Cross Director Chuck Waller said that in addition to sports memorabilia, there will also be nonsports items.

Proceeds go to the Red Cross' Heroes Campaign to be used for local services.

Sponsoring the fundraiser are two of the Red Cross' "heroes," Wes Waller and George Whitfield, 2005 inductee into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Waller said past sports memorabilia auctions have raised between $16,000 and $17,000.

For more information about the fundraiser, contact the Red Cross at 735-7201.