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New location, same big turnout for blood drive

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – About 100 people have already committed to giving blood today at the American Red Cross blood drive. That is the typical big turn out for the blood drives in Albion.

In the photo above, Albion Town Justice Gary Moore gives a “Double Red” donation at the Elks Club. Red Cross officials were a little worried that shifting the blood drive location from the American Legion on Main Street to the Elks Club on West State Street would result in fewer donations.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case today. Donors said they like the new location with its air-conditioning and cleaner feel.

Red Cross volunteers Jean Smith, left, and Anita McCarthy welcome donors and sign them in. The blood drive continues until 7 p.m. today. Walk-ins are welcome.

The American Red Cross moved the collection site to the Elks Club because the Legion is being purchased by Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, which will turn the site into the Main Street Store, a thrift shop currently in the downtown.

Moore has been giving blood regularly for about four to five years because he said the blood “helps people.”

In this photo, Penny Brown of Albion gives blood. She is assisted by donor specialist Laura Domrzalski.

Red Cross officials said the Albion community has many long-time dedicated donors such as Brown.

Beth Schmidt has been giving about every two months for the past decade.

“I don’t have a lot money so I give blood,” said Schmidt, a former Red Cross board member.

Sue West of Waterport has been giving regularly for 40 years, starting when she worked at Kodak.

“It’s an easy thing to do and it makes you feel good,” she said.