The third annual Patrick Kelley Memorial Blood Drive on Saturday will honor an Eagle Scout and Gainesville High School band member.
Kelley 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 and was an active member of the youth group at Grace Episcopal Church. He died in a car accident on Dec. 20, 2011, his 18th birthday.
The blood drive will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Gainesville High, 830 Century Drive.
When Kelley was deciding on his Eagle Scout project, a blood drive to help others was one suggestion. So, a year after he died, when Phalan Henry, a former classmate, asked to hold a blood drive in his memory, his mom Cheryl Kelley was touched by the coincidence.
“He had donated, he hated needles, it petrified him, but he thought it was important,” said Cheryl Kelley.
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will host the blood drive that is open to the public. Donors must be at least 17, 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 pair of LifeSouth socks and a complimentary cholesterol screening. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream in Gainesville will also offer a “pint-for-a-pint.” All donors will be able to pick up a free pint of ice cream that day after donating.
“I think it’s an important way to keep Patrick’s spirit alive,” said Cheryl Kelley.
For more information, call LifeSouth’s Marry Owens at 706-429-7144.