By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
Members of the Virginia Masonic Lodge are asking area residents to help prevent blood shortages by donating blood this Saturday, Nov. 16.
The blood drive will run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. noon at the lodge building located at Main (Ill. Rte. 78) and South streets in Virginia. Blood will be drawn by Central Illinois Community Blood Center staff. Refreshments will be available. No appointment is necessary to give blood this Saturday.
“Giving blood regularly truly impacts the lives of patients and their families,” said Mark Clark, master of Virginia Masonic Lodge No. 544. “We are very grateful for the donors we have, but would also like to encourage others to help patients in area hospitals by giving blood on Nov. 16.”
Donating blood is safe and easy. A donor must be 17 years old, 16 with a signed parental consent form, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. You may donate blood every 56 days, or 112 days for those who make a double red donation.
“Many people do not think they will ever need blood, but the fact is that 95 percent of those who live to the age of 72 will need blood or blood products at some point in their lives. Yet, only 5 percent of the population donate blood on a regular basis,” Clark said.
“We encourage everyone in Cass County to become part of that elite 5 percent. And there is no better time to begin than Saturday, Nov. 16,” Clark said.