Since District 5810, Texas, USA, began organizing blood drives in 2003 as part of the Governors' Challenge Blood Drive, participating clubs have generated 34,852 units of blood -  the tally showed - when the final figures of the blood donation year 2009-10 were calculated by the end of March. Statistically, this amounts to what is needed to improve or save the lives of up to 104,556 people.


The end of the blood donation year within District 5810 coincided with the decision of the District Blood Chair George Elking to step down after having served in the position from the start. In recognition of his "tireless devotion" to voluntary blood donation as district chair, George Elking received the Vampire Emeritus Cape, an honor bestowed upon him by the Governors' Challenge Blood Drive at the District Conference in March. District 5810 encompasses Dallas and surrounding communities in North Central Texas.


"George set a high standard, inspiring Rotarians and almost anyone else he could catch" to donate blood, PDG Chuck Kurtzman of the neighboring district 5790, founder of the Governors' Challenge Blood Drive, told the audience at the District 5810's conference. According to Chuch Kurtzman, the partnership has blossomed into the Vampire challenge. Some years District 5790 "won" the challenge, some years District 5890 "won."



Picture caption: The new Vampire Emeritus, George Elking, in his cape flanked by DGE Linda Elliott, D-5810, and Presiding Vampire Chuck Kurtzman.


52 of the 69 Rotary clubs in District 5810 participated in this year's challenge. Together they secured 5136 units of blood, just 1474 units below the projected goal of 6610 units for the year.


The district, nevertheless, can be proud of the achievement, the outgoing blood drive chair, George Elking, wrote in his final report to the clubs. "Through your blood donation efforts we have had the potential to help 15,408 people.  I'm confident that we will do better next year."


The top-4 clubs in District 5810 for the blood drive year 2009-10 were:


1)  Plano Sunrise Rotary Club with 844 units of blood

2)  Grayson County RC with 701 units

3)  Rotary Club of Park Cities with 405 units

4)  Bonham Rotary Club with 386 units of blood.


The Plano Sunrise Rotary Club is the recipient of the Mark Healy District blooddonation award 2009-10, a price named after the district's 2003-04 governor, when the blood drive challenge was introduced into D-5810.


Editor's note : George Elking is a charter member of Global Network for Blood Donation, a Rotarian Action Group (GNBD) and has served as the action group's secretary, a position he is signing off from by the end of Rotary Year 2009-10. During 2010-11, George Elking will serve as aide for District Governor-elect Bud McBrayer.


Click here to see the district's data sheet 2003-2010 or go to DOWNLOADS.


See also the related articles:


"You see this thing called blood ..."


Battle of the Badges in Texas District 5810


Annual Statement from District 5810: 6096 units of blood


District 5810 final 2007 donation report


The GNBD Newsletter, March 2010 (to be found under View Bulletin).