Katheryn Benedetto's summer job as a lifeguard at the YMCA on Main Street gives her a chance to save lives every day. But the 15-year-old Huntington Bay resident won't be at work on Friday as she will be running a blood drive at Huntington American Legion Post 360 to benefit local hospitals.
"I'm not going to save kids' lives that day, but I am going to hopefully save everyone else's," said Benedetto, a rising sophomore at St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington.
Benedetto, who organized the event from start to finish, said she decided to organize a blood drive because it will look good on her college applications, but most importantly to help the community as a whole.
"It's a good thing to have on my college resume," Benedetto explained. "It shows that I have responsibility, that I can put together this blood drive, get people there and all to benefit a lot of our hospitals. Our hospitals are in need for this blood. It feels great to help out the community."
Long Island Blood Services will administer a blood drive between 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. at Huntington American Legion Post 360 on Mill Dam Road. Benedetto said the goal of the drive is to draw blood from 50 or more donors, which will amount to 50 or more pints of blood. Blood drawn at the event will go to Huntington Hospital and other Huntington-area medical facilities, Benedetto noted.
"My goal is 50, 50 pints of blood," Benedetto said. "Everybody gives a pint of blood and right now I have about 30 people signed up. I hope that people think about that they are helping me and the community and come out to donate on Friday."
All donors will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to Sal D's and a $50 gift certificate to Tutto Pazzo. Participants will also earn $20 off any purchase of $100 or more of fall fashions at Francine's Fashion Boutique in Huntington Village.
Prospective donors with questions about medical eligibility can call New York Blood Center at (800) 688-0900 or visit the center's online FAQ. For general questions about the blood drive, call Katheryn Benedetto at (631) 385-9776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.