RUTLAND (AP) -- Organizers of Rutland’s annual Gift-of-Life Marathon blood drive are hoping to collect enough blood next week to set the one-day blood drive record, currently held by Manchester, N.H.
More than 2,000 people have signed up to donate blood in the Gift-of-Life Marathon scheduled for Tuesday in Rutland.
The current one-day record is 1,968 pints and Rutland organizers are aiming to collect at least 1,969 pints.
"Despite the number of appointments, we are taking nothing for granted," said organizer Steve Costello, a vice president at Green Mountain Power, one of the sponsors. "There are too many variables in an event like this to prematurely claim victory. People can get sick, emergencies come up, and weather can affect turnout, so we’ll keep pushing ahead until we know the blood and record are in the bag, literally."
The annual Gift-of-Life Marathon has become a holiday phenomenon over the last 10 years, inspiring a documentary, "The Blood in This Town." It has broken New England records three times -- recording the second- and third-largest blood collections in American history.
Castleton State College President Dave Wolk, whose school is helping sponsor the drive, said that even though enough appointments have been made to set the record, they can’t take anything for granted.
"The drive came within 13 pints of the national record last year, so we know what disappointment feels like, as if 1,955 was anything to be disappointed about," Wolk said in a statement. "For the next few days, we will continue to do everything in our power to turn out walk-ins and ensure people with appointments keep them."