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Donating Blood Is A Super Way To Help

Every person donating blood at the Town of Oyster Bay’s semi-annual blood drive slated for Thursday, August 1 will have the opportunity to win two tickets to this year’s Super Bowl, according to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto.

“Thanks to a great partnership that we enjoy with the New York Blood Center, all presenting donors at our blood drive will be entered into a sweepstakes for one pair of tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII slated for February 2, 2014 at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey,” Venditto said. “All blood donors are heroes, but here is a rare chance for a lucky winner to see their football heroes in person at the Super Bowl.”

Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joseph D. Muscarella said the unique promotion is part of the Town’s efforts to build the response to its summer blood drive.

“With summer in full swing, our attention tends to focus on barbecues, going to the beach, taking a vacation and the other pleasures of the season, so donating blood is not generally on our minds,” said Muscarella, who has worked closely with Venditto for many years on the Town’s blood drive. “The need for blood is continual, though, and the summer usually puts a strain on supplies. Donation drives, such as the ones sponsored by the Town, account for a large percentage of the blood collected by Long Island Blood Services. Without adequate assistance from volunteer blood donors, LIBS cannot meet its vital, life-saving mission and ensure quality health care delivery.”

Venditto added that blood banks need to maintain a large inventory in order to properly protect the population.

“Blood banks need to be prepared 365 days a year,” Venditto said. “That is why people should always donate whenever they can. Donating is quick and easy and is an entirely safe procedure. All materials used during the process are sterile, disposable and used only once…by you. There is no danger of contracting any disease, including AIDS. The pint of blood you donate will never be missed by your body, which manufactures an equivalent amount in 24 hours. When broken down into component parts, one single pint of blood can be used to heal and help the bodies of three different people.”

Muscarella noted that the success of the Blood Drives has earned the Town of Oyster Bay the prestigious New York Blood Center’s “Bronze Award” and “Silver Award,” recognizing outstanding employee participation.

“It’s something of which we’re all proud,” he said. “As our program continues to grow, perhaps, one day, we will be the recipient of a gold award.”

Muscarella went on to say that the locations for the blood drives are: Town Hall South Conference Room, 977 Hicksville Road, Massapequa (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.); Town Hall North at the Blood Mobile, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and the Department of Public Works War Room (Highway), 150 Miller Place (11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).

To qualify as a blood donor, a person must between the ages of 17 and 75 years old, 16 with parental permission and 76 or older with a doctor’s not, weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood within the last 56 days. The Councilman noted that all blood types are needed, especially O positive and O negative. The Town will provide refreshments for everyone who donates.

Anyone requiring additional information should contact Nancy Haarstick at 516-624-6304.

“I can think of few more important gifts a person can give than a pint of blood,” Venditto said. “And if you want to talk about making a difference, one pint of blood could be the difference between life and death for one or more recipients. Unfortunately, there is an almost constant critical need of blood in our area due to an increase in the number of medical procedures that require blood transfusions, coupled with the fact that the United States can no longer rely upon blood shipped in from Europe because of concerns about Mad Cow Disease and other diseases. More of us must start giving blood on a regular basis. Please help us make this blood drive a huge success. If you are not able to give, perhaps you know someone who can. Always keep in mind that we may someday be the ones in need. And, you never know. You and a guest may be going to this year’s Super Bowl.”