Darlington Raceway Blood Drive Collects 218 Units of Blood on September 11

2012 Blood Drive

DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 12, 2012) – Due to the gracious generosity of its fans and community members, the Darlington Raceway Blood Drive collected 218 units of blood during its annual event on 9-11. It was the largest single-day collection for the event in its seven-year history.

The blood drive, which is the largest in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina, surpassed last year’s total by 72 units (146 units were collected in 2011), giving the American Red Cross a much-needed boost in donations during a time when the supply level is the lowest it has been in nearly 15 years.

“We can’t say thank you enough for all the generosity of our fans and community members for donating blood and making this event a success,” Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning said. “It truly was remarkable to see all the support from people willing to donate at our event.”

Donors from all walks of life with stories of courage and perseverance attended the event, many giving blood for the first time. One of the first-timers that attended was Frank Jaks, Darlington resident and plant manager of the local Southern Nut Company.

Jaks had never donated at a blood drive event, but the opportunity to drive his personal vehicle around the track in exchange for a unit of blood was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“This is the first time I’ve donated blood. I wanted to do my part to help somebody,” Jaks said. “I’ve attended every Cup race at Darlington since 1975 and it will be my first opportunity to drive on the track with my big Ford F-350. Giving blood was a great experience and it was nice to honor the tragedies of 9-11 in this way.”

Since 2005, Darlington Raceway has now assisted the American Red Cross in collecting 1,288 units of blood potentially saving the lives of 3,864 people (each unit potentially can be transfused to up to three people).

With the support and success of this year’s blood drive, many walk-up donors at the end of the day were not able to donate due to timing, but race track and Red Cross officials are already making plans to accommodate all supporters who attend with possible extended hours and the addition of more beds and staff.

The Darlington Raceway Blood Drive is scheduled for September 11, 2013. The American Red Cross will be in future contact with donors about signing up for an appointment for next year’s event.

You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame.

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