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Mount Airy blood drive is a community affair SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield


From doughnuts for blood donors provided by the American Legion Auxiliary to the many phone calls made by service club members to encourage donations, blood drives -- Mount Airy-style -- continue to be community efforts.

Monday's blood drive collected 128 pints of blood, said Mary Jo Burkett, who co-chaired Monday's blood drive with her husband, Dr. Paul Burkett.

"The drive went very smoothly -- for most people, it took 40 minutes to one hour," said Mrs. Burkett. "It was quite a rush at 7 p.m., but that helped to make the drive successful."

Red Cross officials recognize the importance of community spirit in Mount Airy's drive.

"The neat thing about the blood drives there [in Mount Airy] is that all the organizations in the community participate," said American Red Cross account manager Judie Mitnick. "If some people can't give blood, then they volunteer to do the phoning or volunteer to help on the day of the drive."

The Burketts have co-chaired the spring and fall blood drives for the past eight years. Dr. Burkett has a local dental practice.

"It's a pleasure working with all the volunteers," said Mrs. Burkett, adding the blood drives were first organized about 12 years ago by the

Ladies Auxiliary to American Legion Gold Star Post 191, with Jane Dertzbaugh as chairwoman.

The semiannual blood drives are automatically booked by the Mount Airy Fire Company on the last Mondays of March and September at the Firemen's Activity Building, said Ms. Mitnick.

Another special touch to the Mount Airy spring and fall blood drives is the meal that is provided for Red Cross personnel by the Post 191 Auxiliary and prepared by the Fire Company Auxiliary.

Mount Airy's blood drives have a reputation of being "very successful," Ms. Mitnick said. "They are one of the biggest community drives."

Nearly 150 pints was collected in the March drive.

Blood is picked up midway through the drives so that processing can begin immediately. Some of that blood goes to cancer patients the next day, Ms. Mitnick said.

"For every unit that is donated, it helps four patients," she added.

St. James Episcopal Church of Mount Airy also holds a summer blood drive each June and 61 units of blood were collected at this year's event, said Ms. Mitnick.

Mrs. Burkett said 134 people came to Monday's blood drive to donate blood but noted six donors were deferred because of medication or fever. She said staffing by Red Cross workers on Monday helped to make the drive run smoothly.

"Everybody raved about the dinner," she said.

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