Volunteers seeking donors for blood drive

Event will be held Sept. 19 at Yampa Valley Medical Center

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— Now is the time for people to begin thinking about contributing to Colorado's blood supply.

A little more than a week remains until the Sept. 19 blood drive, and volunteers are hoping for a large turnout.

Bonfils Blood Center provides 80 percent of the state's blood and blood products.

The center must collect 3,000 units of blood every week to meet the demands of Colorado. Each donation can potentially save three lives.

The Steamboat Springs community has consistently supported its blood drives, particularly in the weeks following Sept. 11, 2001, when residents stood in line to donate.

Yampa Valley Medical Center Auxiliary sponsors the Steamboat community blood drive from 12:30 to 6 p.m. next Thursday at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

The event can no longer take place at the Steamboat Springs Airport because SmartWool recently moved its offices into the terminal.

"It seems really appropriate to have it at the hospital," said Terry Sherrill, who coordinates the blood drives every other month. "The new location works out great."

People who wish to schedule a time to donate should call Sherrill at 879-2081.

Appointments around the noon hour and after 5 p.m. usually fill up first.

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.

Sherrill encouraged younger people to consider becoming blood donors.

People 18 and older can donate blood, but 17-year-olds must have written parental permission.

People between the ages of 18 to 60 can also donate blood for bone marrow testing at the blood drive.

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation will assist those who cannot pay the $25 fee. Only minimum paperwork is required and a small amount of blood is taken for bone marrow testing.

Sherrill said she is hoping for 200 donors. Plenty of beds and screening are available to support a large turnout, she said.

"It's just so important to keep the supplies going all the time," she said.

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