Last December the Paramount Theater and two other Rutland locations were packed with people willing to give blood and beat out Manchester, New Hampshire as the national record holder.
"We had an unbelievable turnout of people at the blood drive last year -- enough potentially to have broken the national record," said Steve Costello, the event organizer.
Twenty-four hundred donors checked in but only 1,855 pints of blood were collected. That means almost 600 people didn't donate -- some for medical reasons -- but others chose to walk out when waiting in line turned into an all day ordeal.
"The big thing is getting the staff in, getting the people in, and having enough of the staff to handle the people," Costello said.
In the end, the drive fell about 100 pints shy of the 1968 pint national record.
"We've spent really the last eight months talking about whether it made sense to try for the record again and if we did want to do it, how would we try to do it," Costello said.
The decision -- to give it one last go. Per orders of the Red Cross the December 18th drive will be the last attempt at a national record. After that, the drive will be scaled back not only in Rutland but in rival cities of Manchester and Boston.
"We can't push this one more year -- this is it, it either happens this year or it's not going to happen," said Terry Jaye, an event sponsor.
To do that, Costello says there will be some changes. First, to reduce the wait time to a goal of 90 minutes, they'll expand to a fourth downtown Rutland location. Second, the Red Cross is sending about 180 employees -- that's a 50 percent increase from last year. And third, since long time sponsor CVPS merged with GMP this year, there are more employees donating to the cause.
One group organizers hope will give the blood drive a boost -- 16 and 17 year olds. Though that age group can already donate in rival states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, this will mark first year they're able to donate with parents permission in Vermont.
And if you need a little more motivation to brave those lines and give, Costello and Jaye promise they'll get matching tattoos if the record is broken.
Monday, December 9 2013 8:18 AM EST2013-12-09 13:18:48 GMT
Soldiers and families at the region's largest military base are getting some holiday cheer Monday morning. About 700 farm-grown Christmas trees will be delivered to the 10th Mountain Division headquartersMore >>
Soldiers and families at the region's largest military base are getting some holiday cheer Monday morning.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 8:01 AM EST2013-12-09 13:01:55 GMT
Police in Jericho are looking for the culprits behind vandalism at the elementary school. They say this weekend, four windows were damaged when rocks were thrown at them. Police say Saturday, three kidsMore >>
Police in Jericho are looking for the culprits behind vandalism at the elementary school.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 7:52 AM EST2013-12-09 12:52:05 GMT
This year's Gift of Life marathon is set for December 17, and organizers in Rutland have their sights set on knocking off the Manchester, New Hampshire's one-day record with 1,968 pints. Here with anMore >>
We have an update on the preparations for Rutland's big Gift of Life Marathon later this month.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:58 AM EST2013-12-09 10:58:56 GMT
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe. Jennifer Grout has emerged as the unlikely singing sensation on the overseas reality show Arabs Got Talent. UnlikelyMore >>
An American singer with Vermont ties is making waves with her music halfway across the globe.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:51 AM EST2013-12-09 10:51:48 GMT
Usually the Lake Placid Volunteer Ambulance Service is busy saving lives or responding to emergencies. But right now, members are selling Christmas trees to raise money for the finishing touches on theirMore >>
Many different groups sell Christmas trees this time of year to raise money for their organization. And for the third year, that includes an ambulance service.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:44 AM EST2013-12-09 10:44:43 GMT
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man. They say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson of Enfield went out for a walk overnight Saturday in Killington and never came back. Friends went outMore >>
Police say a Killington driver hit and killed a New Hamphire man.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-09 04:56:59 GMT
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. It happened Saturday night on the Killington Road. Police say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson wentMore >>
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:36 PM EST2013-12-09 03:36:50 GMT
A Burlington congregation made a short pilgrimage to it's new home Sunday. The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decidedMore >>
The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decided not to renew its lease.More >>