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Pa. blood drive at American Legion Post 15 to honor Duffey's dedication

August 29, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Jack Duffey has been helping run blood drives in Waynesboro, Pa., for 15 years. Duffey, 80, is passing on the responsibility of organizing the blood drives to Bernie McGarity and John Ingels.
By Jennifer Fitch

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — For 15 years, Jack Duffey has welcomed blood donors to American Legion Post 15 and thanked them by offering what he describes as “more than crackers and orange juice.”

Six times a year, the post on East Main Street holds an American Red Cross community blood drive. Its donors can help themselves to free meals like ham or chicken-salad sandwiches.

“After that many years, you’re on a first-name basis with a lot of them,” Duffey said.

Duffey, 80, is passing on the responsibility of organizing the blood drives to Bernie McGarity and John Ingels. The next blood drive, which is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5, will be partly used as a tribute to Duffey’s volunteerism.

McGarity said he hopes donors past and present come to thank Duffey between noon and 6 p.m. He has set a donation goal of 100 pints, which is essentially double the typical yield.

Duffey himself donated 23 1/2 gallons of blood for six decades in his lifetime when his health allowed. His first pint was donated in 1952.

“I was in the military,” he said. “They marched us in, sat us down and said, ‘Get ready.’”

When donating, not only do you know that you could be saving lives, you also feel rejuvenated physically a day or two later, Duffey said. There is no substitute for blood for patients who need it, he said.

Most healthy individuals at least 17 years of age, or 16 with parental consent in Pennsylvania and Maryland, who weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood. Individuals 18 years old or younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

Donated blood is held for about 48 hours for tests and reviews before being distributed to the region’s 80 hospitals, Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Region spokeswoman Marianne Spampinato said.

The Greater Alleghenies Region includes 100 counties in parts of six states.

The region collected 153,690 donations from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, Spampinato said.

She praised Duffey for his volunteerism.

“It’s a phenomenal commitment because this is a frequently held blood drive. Mr. Duffey has certainly been very committed and dedicated to his donors,” she said.

If you go ...

What: American Red Cross community blood drive
Where: Joe Stickell American Legion Post 15, 63 E. Main St., Waynesboro, Pa.
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5

For more information, call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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