Rutland Claims Blood Drive Record
Despite Tuesday’s cold weather, people in Rutland came out in force to give blood and the city can finally say its number one in the nation when it comes to blood drives.
Organizers of Rutland’s annual Gift of Life Marathon brought in 2,337 pints of blood, shattering the previous one day drive record of 1,968 pints set by Manchester New Hampshire in 2011.
Steve Costello, one of the lead organizers of the event was thrilled when the final tally came in around 10:00 p.m.
“I was completely shocked. I knew we had done really well, but the number was just mind boggling. I mean we didn’t just break the record, we demolished it. All of Rutland county came together to make this thing happen. And I think it’s such a testament to this whole community," Costello said.
The drive was first held in 2003 as a way to help the Red Cross over the holidays, when blood supplies are typically low.
Ten years later, more than 200 Red Cross staff members and 300 volunteers worked at five different donations sites in the city. Costello said that, plus a big turnout of area high school and college students, helped them finally capture the record.
While Costello said there will be another drive next year, but how big and what it will look like, remains unclear.