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Philip blood drive May 5

Hero status isn't reserved only for those brave men and women who rush into burning buildings or step into the front lines of war.

"There's a hero in all of us," said Beth-Anne Ferley, donor recruitment director of United Blood Services. "Ordinary people are saving lives every day. They do it while they are on lunch break or while they are running errands. They have found the hero in themselves by donating blood."

You can find the hero in you at the upcoming Community Betterment Committee blood drive on Tuesday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Bad River Senior Citizens Center in Philip. To schedule an appointment, phone Enid Schulz at 859-2145, the UBS in Rapid City at 1-800-834-8525 or go online to www.unitedbloodservices.org.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 or 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian. Donors may receive a free cholesterol test.

Several years ago, UBS took the innovative step of highlighting donors rather than patients in its blood drive posters and materials. The organization continues that focus with a new national marketing campaign that invites people to "find the hero in you" by donating blood three times a year. "We asked a donor, a young man, why he gives so consistently three or four times a year," said Ferley. "He said, 'It feels so good to save someone's life. Why should you do it just once?"

To encourage the habit of blood donation, UBS has expanded its rewards program. Donors can earn points for donating frequently and staying involved year after year. The points are redeemable for movie and restaurant gift certificates and other prizes.