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Stirpe hosts blood drive to promote need during summer

Giving blood saves lives.

That's the reason Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-North Syracuse), the American Red Cross and numerous local businesses teamed up to present the second annual Lifesavers' Party Tuesday July 22 at Driver's Village in Cicero. The day-long blood drive collected over 100 pints of blood at a time when the Red Cross needs it most.

"Summer is when blood drives make the most difference," Stirpe said. "When I first approached the Red Cross about this two years ago, I intended to do it in the spring. But they said spring is when everyone does [blood drives] -- you have all of the college kids and the high school kids doing them. But in the summer, it's harder."

Kristin Crandall of the American Red Cross confirmed that summer presents a dual challenge.

"In summer, more people are out and about, they're on vacation, they're not at home," Crandall said. "So they're not donating blood. At the same time, because more people are out and about, there are more accidents and there's a greater need for donations."

Crandall said that results in a critical situation for the Red Cross.

"Right now, we have about a two-day supply," she said. "We're comfortable with about a six-week supply. So yes, the need is critical."

As a result, when Stirpe approached the Red Cross last year about a day-long blood drive event featuring prizes donated by local businesses, live entertainment from award-winning local acts and food donated by local grocers and bakers, the organization jumped on board.

"Assemblyman Stirpe's office has been wonderful," Crandall said. "They took on a really personal, really grassroots effort to bring in people and to make this successful."

And successful it was -- this year's event collected 104 units of blood, 25 more than last year and nearly 30 more than the goal of 85.

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