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December 27. 2013 8:56PM

Crowd turns out to give blood for Lions, Red Cross drive


Longtime Nashua Lions Club member Ed Lecius was one of the first people in line Friday afternoon to donate at a special end-of-the-year blood drive organized by the Nashua Lions and the Red Cross. (Barbara Taormina/Union Leader Correspondent)

Angel Scannell was among the first wave of donors to show up at the ballroom in Nashua's Crowne Plaza Hotel to give blood on Friday at an end-of-the-year blood drive organized by the Nashua Lions and the Red Cross.

The former Gofftstown EMT who now lives in Nashua has seen plenty of cases where donations save lives.

"And blood doesn't have a good shelf life," she said referring to the 42 days donated blood is good to use in medical procedures."They need to constantly replenish the supply."

Residents in Nashua and surrounding communities appeared happy to help with the Lions Club goal of collecting 90 pints to mark the service organization's 90th anniversary.

"We were looking for a way to celebrate our 90th anniversary and Paul Bergeron of the Nashua Red Cross heard about that and said, 'What about 90 pints for 90 years,'" said Ed Lecius, a former international director of the Lions and community policing coordinator for Nashua. "We thought it would be a good project and we have been working together on it."

Lecius' wife, Elaine, is the current president of the Nashua Lions Club, which is known for many types of community service, especially for its work to promote vision and eye care.

"Our primary mission is sight conservation," said Lecius as Red Cross phlebotomist Roxanne Scarponi dabbed his arm with iodine and made sure he was comfortable before starting to draw his blood.

"But there aren't a lot of blood drives during December," said Lecius. "And we thought what better way to end the year."

Lecius, who joined the Nashua Lions Club back in 1971, is also a longtime blood donor, and he knew what to do and what to expect.

"It's important to be well hydrated and get a good night's sleep," said Scarponi.

Lecius said he feels fine after giving blood, but added that it's different for everybody.

Some people feel a little tired after giving blood but others feel just the same. The Red Cross had tables of drinks and snacks set out for donors to help them recharge.

"It's sort of like an oil change," laughed Scarponi who added that donating improves the viscosity of blood.

Scannell donates regularly because she has the most common blood type that typically has the highest demand.

"I've got O, so they like that," she said.

"I have type AB blood, one of the rarer types, so I always donate," said Cheryl Tracey, a nurse from Merrimack.

Along with Tracey, Scannell and Lecius, about 65 people had called ahead to make an appointment to give blood and others were showing up at the ballroom door.

"I think we will make it to 90 pints," said Lecius as he watched the room filling up. "This is just a good thing to do, and a good time to do it."

btaormina@newstote.com


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