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To meet ongoing need, blood drive scheduled Feb. 18 at Oaklawn Hospital

A new public blood drive is scheduled at Oaklawn Hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and American Red Cross officials are offering a special incentive to encourage donors.

Anyone who gives blood in the Great Lakes Region during February can enter to win a weekend stay at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Red Cross officials say.

The collection will be conducted near the front entrance on the hospital’s first floor, said Kyle Ann Keller, Oaklawn Hospital’s Development Coordinator. Valet parking will be available to participants, she said.

Prospective donors are being asked to enter through the main hospital entrance at 200 N. Madison St., and report to the Central Registration office, Keller said.

Donors participating in the contest will have a chance to win one of two prize packages, which include two weekend nights in a two-bedroom condominium at the resort. The prize package includes breakfast vouchers and other amenities, and travel must be completed by April 21.

“Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds,” said Keller, who works with members of the Oaklawn Hospital Auxiliary in assisting American Red Cross officials during the blood collection.

“There’s a constant need for blood, and as the cold weather continues, sometimes providing a good supply can be a real challenge,” Keller said.

The Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the Red Cross, based in Lansing, supervises blood-collection activities in a 65-county area, including Calhoun County.

On average, the American Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day, she said. Nationwide, about 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers continue to be in need of updated blood supplies to serve patients.

“We hope people will consider making an appointment to give blood this winter,” Keller said. “The chance that you might save a life could become a wonderful gift.”

Potential donors may schedule appointments between 9 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. by calling (800) RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or by visiting the website and entering the code MOLH. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins also will be accepted.

Another Oaklawn-sponsored blood drive will be held April 22 at the Oaklawn Life Improvement Center.