Blood battle: And the winner is ...
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on January 18, 2013 1:46 PM
Cindy Stallard cheers on Allen Hope at the city blood drive Thursday. The city was victorious over the county in the blood drive competition, collecting 44 units. The county collected 33 units.
Wayne Alley talks to Michael Cabler during the county's blood drive Thursday. Alley rolled up his sleeves and gave blood, too, but it was not enough to ensure a win over the city during the competition to see who could collect the most blood.
It was a bloody battle, but in the end, the city emerged victorious.
The first-ever county versus city blood drive was held at the same time, but at different locations.
County employees gave blood at the Red Cross chapter house, while city employees made their blood donations at the city maintenance complex.
The city won the competition with 44 units of blood, with the county trailing at 33 units.
Interim Wayne County Red Cross director Tammy Forrester said the competition was a way to increase blood donations.
"It's been really good with good turnout," she said. "Both wanted to win, and they wanted only their people at the drive, no city employees at the county drive and no county employees at the city drive."
Cheering the city employees on to the win was coordinator Cindy Stallard. Each time a donor got into the hot seat to give blood, she waved a purple pom pom, which she borrowed from a neighbor's child the night before.
Because the theme was "Building a Better Blood Supply," Ms. Stallard also donned a tool belt. In it she carried a stud finder.
"We've got lots of guys around here," she said, "so I'm using my stud finder to find them and encourage them to donate."
She figured the city had one up on the county when a county employee showed up at the city drive.
"She had signed up previous to the competition being made known," Ms. Stallard said. "We were excited to have her. She counted for the city."
City employee Allen Hope thought the drive was a good idea and was sure the city would win because city employees are "awesome."
"It makes me feel good to give blood," he said. "I keep doing it because I love making people happy and helping other folks."
James Boyette also likes helping people and that's why he gave blood at the city drive.
"It makes me feel good," he said. "When I started giving blood back in high school, I thought it was really cool to be able to help somebody out."
Over at the county drive, Michael Cabler, who works with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, was more than happy to give blood. He said the competition was secondary to possibly saving someone's life with a blood donation.
"I'm just happy to help out if I can," he said. "With the hurricanes and everything else that's taken place, we need all the blood we can get now."
Cabler became a blood donor at an early age -- while in high school.
"When I was growing up, my mother used to work with the sewing factory in town and they always had days where the Red Cross would go in there and take donations from the employees," he said. "I guess it was instilled in me at an early age to try and help if I could by giving blood."
He gives blood every six months.
"I can't imagine needing blood and then not having it available," he said. "That would be horrible."
Sherry Jones is a homemaker and retired Air Force Reservist who has been giving blood since she was 18.
She had no idea a competition was going on between the county and city Thursday; she just stopped by to give blood because she wanted to help others.
County employee Wayne Alley rolled up his sleeves to donate. He started giving blood because of the encouragement from his late mother, who was a big Red Cross supporter.
"It really feels wonderful," he said. "You don't know the rush until you're actually there giving that blood and that blood's coming out of your body to go into somebody else's body to help maybe a premature baby, a cancer victim, someone needing a blood transfusion or an accident victim."
Alley hopes the drive becomes an annual event.
"It's a good friendly competition and a lot of fun," he said.