"Lordy, Lordy, look whose 40!" Goes the over the hill birthday greeting, but it was a celebration of great appreciation last week when the Blood Bank of Alaska turned 40. It was in 1962 that the Blood Bank of Alaska formed as a non-profit corporation to help the sick and injured of Alaska by providing blood products to them. Back at that time about 667 units of blood were taken, today the Blood Bank of Alaska takes some 14,000 units of blood annually.
In Anchorage special recognition was given to those regular donors who have given 8 gallons or more of blood during their lifetime. Special recognition was also given to the traditional sponsors of blood drives through the years such as Lions and Rotary Clubs in the area. Locally, the Kenai Peninsula Blood Bank of Alaska joined in the celebration with cake and special pins for donors who came in to donate during the anniversary.
Even so Alaska finds itself with summer shortages of blood according to Jason Elson, public relations director of the local Blood Bank. "We have such a great influx of tourists and guests visiting the state in the summer that it puts a greater demand on our blood supply here in Alaska," explained Elson. The next outdoors blood drive will be held at the Industry Appreciation Days in Kenai, August 24th. Appointments may be made any time however to give blood at the local center in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna by calling 260-5672.
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