Donors sought for blood drive

Appointments available for Thursday's event

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— With less than a week to go until the next community blood drive, plenty of appointments remain to be filled.

As of Wednesday, blood drive coordinator Gloria James reported 62 of 200 spots were filled for the Feb. 28 blood drive at Steamboat Springs Airport.

That number covers about 31 percent of the donors Bonfils Blood Center hopes to see Thursday.

The low response reflects the time of year, James said.

Many families leave during the Steamboat Springs School District's Blues Break, which fell the week before the blood drive, she added.

Bonfils sends cards a few weeks in advance to remind past donors about each blood drive but the cards announcing the Feb. 28 blood drive in Steamboat arrived later than usual, James said.

Donors around Steamboat received the cards Monday, she said, which leaves them with less time to make room in their schedule for an appointment.

Bonfils Blood Center must collect 3,000 units of blood every week to meet the needs of Colorado, Bonfils recruitment manager Eric Watson said. Each donation can potentially save three lives.

"Over the years, the Steamboat Springs community's efforts have helped many patients throughout Colorado," Watson said.

Bonfils encourages people to make appointments rather than showing up to the blood drive.

Walk-ins have been turned away in previous blood drives where donors outnumbered the available time slots.

James said she was hopeful Steamboat residents would maintain their high level of support for the blood drive, despite the time of year.

"We don't want it to fall down in any way at all," she said.

James stepped in for Terry Sherrill, who regularly coordinates the blood drives every other month but was unable to coordinate the Feb. 28 blood drive.

She encouraged younger donors to make an appointment. Anyone 17 and older can donate blood but 17-year-old donors must have written parental permission.

Those ages 18 to 60 can also donate blood for bone marrow testing.

Yampa Valley Community Foundation will assist those who cannot pay the $25 fee.

The blood drive at Steamboat Springs Airport runs from 12:30 to 6 p.m.

Most of the appointments around the noon hour and after

5 p.m. are filled but the hours are open.

"This scares me a little to see all these blank spaces in the middle of the day," James said.

People who want to make an appointment should call Gloria James at 736-8445.

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