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Island blood drive exceeds goal

COURTESY PHOTO
Among blood donors Thursday were members of the Lions Club newly formed youth group who call themselves Simbas. With their teacher and Lions Club member Peter Miedema (back left) are (standing) Owen Gibbs, Jaime Lenzer, Abby Kotula and Stephen Cummings and (seated) Lydia Shepherd and Jonas Kinsey.

Once again, Islanders showed their true spirit of cooperation Thursday, donating 48 pints of blood during the drive that took place at EMT Headquarters.

Judy Meringer, who organizes the local blood drives for the town, said that given the smaller winter population, she was hoping to see 40 pints donated.

“Islanders are good people,” she said about what was a strong turnout on a cold winter day. “It was busier than I thought,” Ms. Meringer said.

Among those who showed up to give blood were several members of the newly formed local LEO Club — the youth arm of the Lions Club. They call themselves Simbas after the character created for the “Lion King,” and like their adult mentors, are dedicated to community service.

The Simbas saw the blood drive as a means of making a mark as they begin to tackle projects on the Island.

“The students were happy to donate,” teacher and LEO organizer Peter Miedema said. He noted they plan on making this “a lifelong service they will continue.”

JULIE LANE PHOTO
EMT Phil Power, and the Reporter’s Person of the Year, sets the example by donating blood.

Phil Power, who just stepped down as chief of the Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services, set the example, said he’s  been participating in the Island blood drives for years.

“It’s easy,” Mr. Power said as he reclined on a gurney during his blood donation.

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