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Red Cross solicits Exchangite blood

ALBANY — It isn’t enough that the Exchange Club of Albany contributes to the community in many ways. Dick Rockey wants the members’ blood, too.

Forgive Rockey. He is in charges of recruiting donors for the Red Cross in this area.

“I would like the people in the club to donate blood and host a blood drive to sign up people to give blood,” Rockey said during a speech for Exchangites Friday. “I want to encourage donation. It only takes one hour of time to come to our donation center.”

Rockey said that the donation center at 1515 Dawson Road will make it through another fiscal year starting in July, but there is a real danger it could close.

“There is never enough blood,” Rockey said. “The amount collected in Georgia is not enough to cover Georgia’s needs.”

According to statistics, 38 percent of the population of America is qualified to give blood. Of that 38 percent only eight percent donate.

On the Fourth of July, the center will be open and accepting donations. Rockey hinted that anyone giving blood on the red, white and blue day gets a box of fried chicken.

The plans call for a raffle for four tickets to an Atlanta Braves game. Valet parking will be included.

“The deal is almost set,” Rockey said. “The tickets will be 10 rows above the Braves’ dugout.”

But there was no need to wait until the Fourth, Rockey said. The donation center is open, ready and waiting.

“I’m asking the Exchange Club to host and promote a blood donor drive,” Rockey said. “You don’t need a special reason to donate blood. All you need is your reason. It is the right thing to do.”

The Albany donation center has a variety of operating hours. Its telephone number is (229) 889-9000. On the web: redcrossblood.org/locations/albany-donor-center.

Digging out its checkbook, the Exchange Club gave $500 to the Lily Pad to help it aid 1,000 victims of child abuse a year. Club President Larry Hinman also handed over $500 to the Humane Society of Albany.

The Humane Society’s Donna Strickland said, “Thank you on behalf of all the four legged.”