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August 26. 2013 11:52PM

Gail Singer blood drive kicks off today

MANCHESTER — The Gail Singer Memorial Blood Drive celebrates 30 years this week with the potential for another record take for the annual effort to stock blood banks.

Chairman Stephen Singer said more than 1,100 people had pre-registered as of Monday night to donate blood today or Wednesday at the Radisson Hotel downtown. Singer said that already puts this year’s drive 20 percent ahead of last year’s pace, which brought in more than 1,700 pints.

“Of all the community service we do, this is really the most emotional event for us. It’s the only one that carries the Singer name,” he said. “It’s a very special event.”

The family started the drive to honor the memory of Gail Singer, the wife of Stephen’s brother, Gary. She died of leukemia in 1984 at age 29.

The drive had continued to grow over the decades, setting a world record two years ago with 1,959 pints — the most for a one-day drive in the history of the American Red Cross.

“It’s not about the record,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful experience. We’ve made lots of new friends and helped save lots of lives.”

Singer said the community has taken the event as its own, helping market the drive and making it such a success.

dalden@unionleader.com

He said businesses contributing merchandise for the annual donor appreciation bags have made the giveaway a staple for annual donors.

“We have people who come in just because it’s the right thing to do. Some people don’t even take the bags,” Singer said. “It’s OK — whatever your reason is for giving blood.”

dalden@unionleader.com


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