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Local Saugerties Resident organizes area blood drive for the New York Blood Center at HITS Saugerties

Saugerties, New York (July 29, 2008) – On Thursday, August 7 from 12 pm till 5:30 pm, the HITS-on-the-Hudson equestrian facility in Saugerties, New York will host the New York Blood Center for an area blood drive.

The blood drive is being organized by Saugerties resident Olivia Guerriero, who is a regular donor to the NYBC and an active member of the BloodStock program.

"The New York Blood Center is a great organization that I've personally supported ever since I was able to donate blood," said Guerriero. "It's a cause I'm passionate about and when I was approached with the opportunity to organize a drive, I was very eager to do it and approached HITS for support. I'm very thankful for their help. They have a very popular facility and I thought with the number of people on-site at any time, from the employees to customers to spectators, it would be a great location. Plus, it's easy to find and close to the center of town, which hopefully makes it convenient for people to come out and donate."

“New York Blood Center is proud to partner up with HITS and BloodStock student Ms. Olivia Guerriero to host this special blood drive on August 7th at the HITS facility," said Lanette Perez-Villarroel, Media/Community Relations Manager for NYBC. "Ms. Guerriero and HITS recognize the need for blood and invite the community to come out donate blood – there are countless patients who are counting on [donor's] life-saving blood.”

New York Blood Center, a not-for-profit community blood center since 1964, supplies the Hudson Valley area with over 15,000 units of blood and blood products each year and 500,000 total units of life-saving blood products to 200 area hospitals. Donors under 17 must have a written parental consent form. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and have not donated within the past 56 days. In addition, there is a private medical questionnaire that everyone is required to complete. The answers to some questions may affect eligibility, for example, individuals who have gotten a new tattoo in the past 12 months cannot donate.

According to Perez-Villarroel, New York Blood Center is experiencing a critical blood shortage due to the hot weather,poor donor turn-out and blood drive cancellations. "Hospitals require at least 400 units per day to meet demand," said Perez-Villarroel. "Which means, we need at least 10-12 blood drives per day to meet these demands. We need the community's help – we simply cannot do it without [the support of the community].”

Another statistic from NYBC that may surprise some, fewer than 2% of the New York population gives blood as compared to the nationwide average of 5%. Type O- and B- blood are the most needed and very rare. Blood type O- is just 6% of the population and considered to be the universal blood type.

“If every donor just donated twice a year, chances are we would never have a shortage or a blood shortage emergency, added Perez-Villarroel.”

The NYBC blood drive will take place on the HITS show grounds on Washington Avenue in Saugerties from 12 pm - 5:30 pm. Scheduled appointments are encouraged. To schedule an appointment to donate, please contact Patti Guerriero at 845.246.8833. Directions to the HITS facility in Saugerties are available on the HITS website at http://www.HitsShows.com.

"The New York Blood Center would like to extend our most sincere appreciation to Olivia and to HITS for their support," said Jo Ann Cella, Account Manager for NYBC. "The BloodStock program provides students who organize blood drives that attract more than 29 donors scholarship money for their education. It's wonderful to see the members of the community come together for a great cause at a time when blood is much needed."

For more information about the New York Blood Center, please visit http://www.nybloodcenter.org.

Show jumping at HITS Saugerties returns on Wednesday, July 30 with three consecutive weeks of competition. HITS will feature two Grand Prix classes each week this summer. On Thursdays, the $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix will take center stage and then on Sunday, riders can take aim at the $50,000 Grand Prix, which will be sponsored by Smith Barney and In the Woods Log Homes during the next two weeks. Every Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties is a qualifier for the $100,000 USGPL Invitational, which will take place at HITS Culpeper on Sunday, September 28. For hunters, HITS Saugerties is the place to be this summer, as the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship for the East Coast will return on August 5 and 6, while HITS will host the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and its all-new $5,000 Pony Commotion on Thursday, August 7 during Week VI.

HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit http://www.HitsShows.com.


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