Central Ohio residents can support their local high school music departments and help save a life by participating in the American Red Cross' "Bleed for the Band" program.
Rodney J. Wilson, Red Cross communications manager, said an emergency request has been issued for blood and platelet donors of all blood types.
"One thing we've seen in central Ohio is high usage of blood products for trauma patients," he said.
During the July 4 weekend, three major traumas caused three patients to need a total of 212 blood products. Another surgery patient needed 78 blood products the same week, he said.
For the second consecutive year, the Red Cross is staging the "Bleed for the Band" program in central Ohio, including Franklin, Delaware, Licking and Union counties.
"It started in Michigan, and they had some success with blood donations over the summer," Wilson said. "We found that bands, in particular, responded well to this concept as a community-service project. It earns them dollars to use toward the band for what their needs are. There are different levels, and the school can decide which level they want to participate."
If a band collects between 30 and 50 units of usable blood, the program would receive a $500 scholarship. Those that collect between 51 and 100 units would receive $750.
As of July 17, 43 central Ohio schools already had participated or were scheduled to participate.
Gahanna Lincoln High School band director Rob Cebriak said he hopes the marching Lions could raise more than 30 units of usable blood between 1 and 7 p.m. Friday, July 26, in the band room at the high school. Blood donors should use door 24 by the tennis courts.
Cebriak said a $500 scholarship could help him buy music for the marching band program.
"We could (purchase) five concert band pieces," he said. "They run from $75 up to $210 is the highest I paid lately."
Anyone wanting to help the Gahanna band should schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-733-2767.
"We can take some walk-ins," Cebriak said. "Because we're limited in time and facility, they encourage appointments. They said summer is one of their neediest times."
To find a blood drive near you, contact the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS.