Would you like to see one of the Boston Red Sox’s most faithful fans wear a Yankee shirt? Even if you’re a Red Sox fan, it may be entertaining to watch President Dave Wolk battle the onslaught of playful comments from students and faculty for one very long school day.
“I am a diehard Red Sox Fan,” said President Dave Wolk. “I get the shakes about wearing the Yankees Uniform — but it’s for a good cause.”
If 100 Castleton State College students, faculty or staff members give blood at the Gift-of-Life Marathon in Rutland on Dec. 20, Wolk has agreed to wear the Yankee stripes.
“It’s a wonderful cause and I would do anything to help them. So frankly, I’m hoping I will have to wear the uniform,” said Wolk. “Now I did promise them it won’t be in the dark of night or the day after Christmas when no one was here. But it’ll be a day when there’s a lot going on.”
The Gift-of-Life Marathon started in 2003 and has raised more and more blood every year. The Rutland blood drive held the New England record for a one-day community blood drive for three straight years, and then battled back and forth with Boston from 2007-2010 for the lead.
“I don’t think most people understand what a big deal this is for Rutland to have held the record,” says Victoria Angis, director of Student Life. Last month, Manchester, N.H. broke the New England record — and the national record, with 1,968 pints. This month Rutland hopes to beat the national record by collecting at least 1,969 pints.
Dec. 20 is the second to last day of exams. Organizers have expressed concern that the timing of this event may mean that there will be fewer students still on campus and willing to go to Rutland to donate blood, but they’re hopeful.
“We’re hoping that we’ll get students and other Castleton related people who live in the Rutland area,” said Victoria Angis. The school is even offering a bus to transport people back and forth from the event.
The Gift-of-Life marathon, held at the Paramount Theatre, is known for its awe-inspiring and friendly atmosphere. It has been referred to as a unique ‘community block party’ feel.
“Sitting there in this gorgeous old theatre, surrounded by people who were waiting patiently to give blood…. It was just heartwarming and I felt like I was a part of something really important,” said Angis, who attended the event last year.
“I thought about giving blood before,” said freshman Liz Surridge. “I’ve been the one who’s like I don’t like needles and blood.”
Surridge has helped promote the event around campus by hanging up posters and displays. She urges others to overcome their fears and come out to the event. She says techniques like looking away when they draw the blood can help first-time donors. “They treat you like it’s a spa,” says Angis.
The blood drive has been expanded to three sites this year: the Paramount Theatre, the American Legion, and the College of St. Joseph’s gym. Wolk hopes to add Castleton State College to the list next year as a fourth location. To avoid waiting in line, donors are urged to go online to www.giftoflifemarathon.com to register for an appointment between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.