CUMBERLAND - Area residents have just a few more opportunities to get on board the American Red Cross Grateful Life Comeback Tour and be automatically entered to win up to $2,400 in free gas courtesy of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.

The 1960s tie-dyed campaign is designed to help ensure sufficient blood supplies during the challenging summer months.

All presenting donors at designated Grateful Life Comeback Tour blood drives will receive a hand-dyed T-shirt and be entered in a grand prize drawing for a year's supply of gas, valued at $2,400, or one of five $100 gas cards offered as runner-up prizes.

Jim Starr, CEO, Greater Alleghenies Region, Red Cross Blood Services, explained that the region's blood donor frequency rate is about 1.7, which means that on average donors give just 1.7 times a year. "Most individuals can safely donate blood every 56 days. We must collect nearly 1,000 units of blood on average each weekday to help ensure sufficient blood supplies for patients at the 97 hospitals served by the Greater Alleghenies Region."

The 100-county blood region has a day or less supply of O positive, O negative and A negative blood types.

For information on area Red Cross blood drives to host the Grateful Life Comeback Tour, log on to www.redcrosslife.org.

To donate blood, individuals must be at least 17 years old or 16 years old in Maryland with parental consent; weigh at least 110 pounds; and be in generally good health.

"Many individuals taking medication for chronic conditions may continue to donate blood," Starr said. "Those with specific eligibility questions should call (800) 542-5663 and ask to speak to someone in Nursing Collections."

Donation appointments may be scheduled at many Red Cross blood drives. Log on to www.redcrosslife.org or call (800) 448-3543.

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