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Thanks extended for blood drive

September 21, 2001

As we all wrestle with the tragic events of Sept. 11, it's difficult to see how any good could come from such a heinous act. But good already has come out of all the tragedy.

One need only look around to see that. There's a renewed sense of patriotism as well as a new respect for our fellow man and the realization that life is sacred and can be taken away without a moment's notice.

We who work for the blood bank saw the generous spirit of Imperial Valley residents who flocked to donate blood last week at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District. They waited patiently, some for two to three hours, without complaint. They understood when they were told Thursday that only negative blood types could be accepted because the blood bank had too much blood.

They energized the blood bank employees who were exhausted at the end of the day with their smiles and positive attitudes and comments.

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It is to all those people and to the people who called and wanted to set up blood drives that I extend our heartfelt thanks.

There are many others who need to be recognized, too. We couldn't have done it without their help. First I must thank Clyde Carson from PMHD for everything he did for us. Clyde was there for anything that needed to be done. I would also like to thank Tina Pendley of PMHD for loaning us several of her employees to help with vital signs. They were terrific.

The PMHD auxiliary was of tremendous help in registering donors but special thanks must go to Joyce Sutton and Sandy Austin, who fielded countless calls and helped direct donors when the blood bank staff was too busy to do so themselves. Also to my office mates, Mary, Lydia and Al in Imperial for answering phones and taking messages.

Special thanks to Fermin Fonseca and his staff from Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Imperial Valley. Mr. Fonseca generously provided 2-liter bottles of Pepsi to every donor and even donated blood himself.

The Brawley and El Centro chambers of commerce need to be recognized for helping get ever-changing information to their members. Also our sincere appreciation to Prince and Associates for taking out ads encouraging people to donate.

The media played a key role in disseminating crucial information. Thank you to the staff of the Imperial Valley Press, radio stations KXO, Q96, KROP, KGBA, KWST, KMXX, KSEH and television stations KYMA, KSWT, KECY and KVYE for your coverage.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the blood bank staff who worked tirelessly for two and a half days, often going for up to 10 hours without lunch or a break. They were professional, courteous and managed to keep smiles on their faces. You are the best!

In closing, I would just like to say to all the first-time donors thank you but we need you to come back. As our regular donors know, precious, lifesaving blood is needed every day of the year for our local patients, possibly someone you know and love.

If we had even a third of this level of support year-round, blood shortages would no longer exist.

God bless you and God bless America.

TRISH BURICH-McNEECE

Blood drive coordinator

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