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Published: Thursday, 7/13/2006

Red Cross gives blood donors a chance for 1 year of free gas

Most people already feel like they're bleeding when they fill up their gas tank, so what's another pint?

That one pint of blood could win you free gasoline for a whole year.

The American Red Cross Blood Services, Western Lake Erie Region is offering a chance for one person to win gas for a year, with a limit of $2,500, for those who donate blood between July 10 and Aug. 31.

"Every year we know the summer is a very difficult time for us, and we wanted to come up with a concept that will make people take that extra time to donate blood," said Judy Pearson, spokesman for the Greater Toledo chapter.

The winner is to be drawn on Sept. 8.

Ms. Pearson said she expects the incentive to attract a lot more people who are willing to donate.

"We are sensitive to the fact that gas prices have soared this summer for everyone, and we thought this grand prize will provide real assistance to any Red Cross supporter who wins it," said Donald L. Baker, chief executive officer of American Red Cross Blood Services, Western Lake Erie Region.

Additionally, blood donors will be given one of 15,000 scratch-off tickets - 10,800 of which are prize-winners. Rewards include free food and a free children's admission to the Toledo Zoo with the purchase of an adult ticket.

People can donate at the Red Cross donor center, 3510 Executive Pkwy. in Toledo. It is open on Mondays and Fridays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and on the first and third Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mobile blood drives also can be found throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan through the Red Cross Web site, www.givebloodtoday.org.

The Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross supplies blood to 23 hospitals in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Blood types needed most urgently are O negative, O positive, A negative, and B negative.

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