"Last year we clearly
had way more people than we had the staff to manage it," said Steve
Costello of the Gift of Life Marathon. "So we have a lot more staff this
year. We added a fourth site to spread people out over the duration of the
event and so far it's worked really well."
From the Paramount to the
Elks Club and other locations, 100 additional staff and volunteers work to
reduce wait times and cut short the long lines of years past.
"We had people last
year three, four, five. We had a couple people who waited six hours last year.
And we're thrilled that isn't happening this year," Costello said.
"It's definitely gotten faster. I came here it was like 10 minutes we were
already in here," donor Jim Mailhiot said. "(Last year) we had, I
think, a two and a half
hour wait. So, there's a big
difference from this year to last year."
"Well, I've only been
here about a half an hour or so. They seem to be very efficient," donor
Diane Barclay said.
Costello says breaking the
record will come down to the walk-ins. In total 1,800 people made appointments,
but not everyone will qualify to donate. So, he estimates they'll need about
500 walk-ins to make the dream of breaking the record of 1968 pints come true.
"We're still hopeful
we'll get a lot of walk-ins in the end. So,
that might add to the wait a
little bit," Costello said.
Of course, Costello also
hopes the new law that took effect this year allowing 16-year-olds to donate
with parents' permission will push that total over the top.
"We worked really
closely with the high schools and we got 40-50 kids from each of the high schools in the area pretty
much," Costello said.
But whether they crack the
record, or fall short, Costello says in the end it's about the effort, not the
"I really think it
would be great if we break the record, but I'm not going to be terribly
disappointed," he said. "We're going to have done something really phenomenal
here no matter what; win, lose or draw."
But many people I spoke
with are confident that national title will belong to Rutland for years to
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