A blood drive will take place in honor of the late Patrick Kelley from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville.
Kelley, who died in a car crash on his 18th birthday in 2011, wanted to organize a blood drive as a project to help the Gainesville community when he was in Boy Scouts.
After Kelley’s death, his friends organized a blood drive to honor the musically-talented Gainesville High School student. That blood drive is now an annual event, and more than 100 blood donors have participated over the years.
“I think he’d be thrilled,” said Patrick’s mother, Cheryl Kelley. “He thought it was important. He thought the blood supply was important, and he thought community was important.”
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will host the blood drive, which is open to the public. Donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required. All donors receive a T-shirt and a complimentary cholesterol screening.
Kelley was an Eagle Scout and played euphonium for GHS’ Big Red Machine, where he was brass section leader for two years. He was also a skilled cellist, was involved in many activities at Gainesville High School and was an active member of the youth group at Grace Episcopal Church.
The timing of the drive, coming as the holiday season is getting underway, helps LifeSouth prevent blood shortages that frequently occur in December and January.
For additional information, call LifeSouth’s Mary Owens at 706-429-7144.