Gateway Community College, the American Red Cross and the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation officially will launch the inaugural Miss Connecticut Blood Drive Challenge on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Kaitlyn Tarpey, the 2013 Miss Connecticut titleholder, will attend the drive, which aims to help raise awareness about the need for blood during this critical time of year.
The blood drive will be held from 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m at Gateway Community College, 20 Church Street, New Haven, Conn. Tarpey will greet donors from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Since the beginning of January, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 American Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Overall, 26 states and Washington, D.C. have had blood drives canceled because of weather.
To help ensure blood is available for patients in need, Tarpey is encouraging the Connecticut community to donate blood during February and to share their experience on their Twitter feeds. Those who donate blood and tweet a picture of their donation experience, such as their “I donated blood” sticker and use the hashtag #MissCTRedCross will be entered into a drawing to win a $200 Visa Gift Card.