WINTERSVILLE - Greg Valkosky donated blood on Tuesday for the first time in years.
The American Red Cross Jefferson County Chapter from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. held its annual Media Blood Donor Day Drive at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville. and Kathy Musso, executive director, said the goal for the event was 140 units of blood.
"I'm doing the double red donation today. I do it because I hope if I ever need blood someday that it will be there. Life has been busy these past few years, but I think it's important (to donate) and I would give more if I could," said Valkosky, a Wintersville resident.
HELPING OTHERS — Greg Valkosky became an extraordinary donor on Tuesday during the American Red Cross Jefferson County Chapter’s annual Media Blood Donor Day Drive held at St. Florian Hall. Valkosky gave the double red donation, which takes two units of blood rather than the usual one. -- Jeremy Kins
"It's been a nice steady turnout and we've had a good mix of new donors and regulars. A few parents have also participated in the fingerprinting program we are offering. It's been just a nice time," said Musso.
Western-Southern Life Insurance representatives offered a free child fingerprinting and identification card program which allowed parents to fill out a form that included a child's blood type, allergies, contact information and more.
The blood drive had plenty of entertainment with activities including prize packages and drawing items, the Eat'n Park cookie, community spokespersons and more.
Notable prizes included Pittsburgh Pirates tickets donated by the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times, as well as Pittsburgh Zoo and Kennywood tickets donated by WCDK-FM.
There were also free green T-shirts that said "Extraordinary Donor" available at this year's event.
Donna Pizzoferrato of Richmond said she is a regular donor and donates every two months. She said it's important because it can save up to three lives per donation.
"I've been lucky with my health and I want to share that with someone else," said Pizzoferrato.
"And the needle doesn't hurt that bad," she said as advice to those individuals who may be apprehensive about donating.
The Red Cross conducts regular collections from noon to 6 p.m. every Monday at the central office located at 81 Talbot Drive in Wintersville.
Volunteer Dorothy Heath has been signing in blood donors for five years, and she said it's important to participate in this service to the community.
The Red Cross has other upcoming blood drive events that Musso encourages the public to attend including noon to 6 p.m. on Monday at the central office; 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on July 6 at the Dixon Health Center in Wintersville; 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 12 at Valley Hospice in Rayland; and noon to 6 p.m. on July 16, July 23 and July 30 at the central office.
Appointments can be made by calling (800) RED CROSS or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org, sponsor code: JeffersonCountyOH. Walk-ins are also welcome.