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Saturday Bloodmobile Success For Community
From left, student coordinators for the Saturday blood drive Christian Rodriguez, Mariana Alvarado and Lorena Peralta, holding Christians five-month-old cousin Katelynn, thank a donor and offer a coupon as a special gift. Both Mountain Mikes and The Big Dipper provided coupons for donors. Marg Jackson/The Times


A trio of Escalon High School students coordinated, promoted and succeeded in bringing the Delta Blood Bank Bloodmobile to the community – resulting in the collection of 43 units of blood on Saturday.

Incoming sophomore Lorena Peralta, junior Christian Rodriguez and senior Mariana Alvarado were the three involved, with Rodriguez taking the lead. All three helped promote the event – even handing out flyers at the recent Park Fete celebration – and were busy all day Saturday helping with the drive and thanking donors.

“We had a total of 49 register, it was amazing,” explained Delta Blood Drive Coordinator Kerry Morris, who said the students did an outstanding job of getting people to turn out for the July 25 event, staged at the Escalon Library.

“Only six (donors) were deferred so we ended up with 43 good units,” added Morris. “Every unit can potentially save up to three lives, so, potentially 129 lives were saved on Saturday.”

The Thomson family – dad and three children – came as a unit and all gave, including the first donation for 16-year-old Sam.

“I don’t like needles,” the teen admitted. “But my dad said we’re going to all go and give blood.”

All four were able to donate, with dad Bill, sons Sam and William and daughter Rose all donating a unit. Also on hand was Gayle Gabbard, who said she is a regular donor and received a phone call regarding the Saturday bloodmobile.

“I used to be a regular donor,” said Tim Novetzke, as he was donating while in one of the bloodmobile ‘bed’ stations on Saturday.

He said he heard about the drive three ways, reading it in the paper, getting a flyer and seeing it posted at a local supermarket.

Registration was inside the library meeting room, while the actual medical screening and donation were done inside the bloodmobile, a converted motor home equipped with five donation-bed stations.

Morris said in working with the students, they decided to set a goal of getting 25 units of blood, given it was a summer weekend and people likely had other plans.

“It far exceeded our expectations,” admitted Morris.

She said the success was even more exciting, since Delta has a regularly scheduled blood drive in the community, tapping in to a strong donor base every couple of months.

“We have an ongoing drive in Escalon every 56 days that is very successful,” Morris said. “It was great they (students) were able to get that many donors.”

Eighteen were first time donors, Morris added, and she said hopefully some of them will become regulars as well.