DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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January 17, 2013

Derry police blood drive draws a crowd

DERRY — It’s an easy way to help others.

Stephanie Wilbur of Derry was waiting to become the next donor at the annual Derry Police blood drive Jan. 10 at Promises to Keep. She was one of almost 300 people who would come through the doors to help.

“It’s one way to contribute,” she said. “It’s easy.”

A steady flow of donors kept police busy directing traffic at the Rockingham Road facility.

It was the department’s 17th annual winter drive, always one of the top collections in the state every year.

Derry police host the winter event and also a drive in the summer. Both drives are usually well attended and generate much-needed blood donations when supplies are traditionally low.

“You had the morning rush,” American Red Cross volunteer Donald Ellison said. “We also had people lining up an hour early that had to get to work.”

Derry drives are among the most successful in the nation, Red Cross officials said. One year, a local drive netted more than 400 pints of blood, earning the town a spot as the 60th biggest collection in the country.

An average drive may bring in 50 or more pints. This winter’s goal was 300 pints. By midday, the numbers were a bit off, Officer Joyce Chadwell said. She hoped the day’s totals would pick up.

“There may be lower numbers due to the flu,” she said.

Derry Police Senior Advisory Committee members staffed the “food court” area of the facility, where donors stopped for some food and drinks after donating.

“We do what they need us to do,” volunteer Dolores Brusky said.

Pinkerton Academy senior Erika Dionne, a member of the school’s Health Occupation Students of America, worked the sandwich table. Pinkerton students hoping to someday enter the health field were out in force to help where needed.

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