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Hopes run high for annual Winter Blood Drive

DERRY — Police are expected to collect close to 300 pints of blood during one of the state&#';s biggest blood drives, which is scheduled for later this month.

The 18th annual Derry Police Department Winter Blood Drive is set to run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Promises to Keep, 199 Rockingham Road.The drive is one of the largest in the state, said John Peterson, manager of donor recruitment for the American Red Cross in Manchester.

&#';Our average blood drive is 40 to 45 pints, so it&#';s very large,&#'; Peterson said Friday.Police will also hold a similar drive for the summer in June.

Interest always seems to run high for the event, and a large turnout is expected, Peterson said.

&#';Police do a good job of getting the word out to the community,&#'; Peterson said.The Red Cross is already off to good start for blood collection this year, and the winter drive in Derry will only help add to the total, he said.

The winter blood drive started in Derry about 15 years ago, and was formerly held Christmas Eve, Peterson said. It was moved to January after a big snow storm hit the area, he said.During the drive, food will be provided by greater Derry restaurants. Pizza, wraps, sandwiches, Lindt chocolates and more will be served, according to organizers.

In addition, all presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross-Derry Police T-shirt, a coupon from Dunkin&#'; Donuts and a pound of coffee, according to organizers.Appointments are recommended. To schedule an appointment online, go to or call 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767).

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