Rotary District 5810 - one of the two districts in North Central Texas, USA, with a blood donor drive program as part of the Governors' Challenge Blood Drive - began its new blood donor year, 2009-10, by collecting 466 units of blood during April.  The tally for the district's blood donor year 2008-09 ended at 6095 units of blood, reports the district's Blood Donation Chair, George Elking.


The 2008-09 figure equals the amount of donor blood needed - in general - to  improve or save the life of potentially 18,285 patients. 52 of the districts 63 club took part in the blood drive program in 2008-09.


Both the tally for 2008-09 and for the first month of 2009-10, however, are lower than projected, according to George Elking. The final score for last year was eight per cent from reaching the goal, set by DG L.B. Showalter. Compared to most recent years, this April's blood collection, in which 15 of the district's 63 club went out for donor blood, was also lower than expected.


"We need your club's help to reach this year's donation total of 6610 units. Please work with your club's Blood Drive Chair to see if your business, church, school or Police and Fire Departments would be willing to jointly sponsor a blood drive? This effort takes support from all club members to make things happen", the blood donation chair states at the district's website. The 2009-10 goal is set by Dave McSpadden as Governor-elect.


The district's prize for 2008-09, the Mark Healy District Award, went to the defending champs, Plano Sunrise Rotary Club, for collecting 1435 units of blood. The winning club was followed by Grayson County Rotary Club and Park Cities Rotary Club.  Together, the three clubs collected 2876 units of blood or about 47 per cent of the district's total blood donations.


"My thanks goes to their president, Randy Plumlee, and the entire Plano Sunrise club for their great effort of support to collect 1435 units of blood," George Elking states at the district's website.


A large segment of Plano Sunrise Rotary Club's total donations comes from the annual Plano Battle of the Badges. 


The Battle of the Badges is a Rotary sponsored contest between Police and Fire Departments, which began in the city of Plano in 2005.  At this type of drive, District 5810 invites and solicits the general public to donate their blood for their favourites, either the fire or police departments.  To date the district has held this type of drive in several cities and towns.


Since 2003, District 5810 has collected over 29,000 units of blood - the amount needed in general to save or improve the life of potentially more than 87,000 people. The three blood centers Carter BloodCare, American Red Cross and Texoma Regional BloodCenter are working with the Rotary Clubs in District 5810


Click here to see the statistics or go to DOWNLOADS.


Footnote: George Elking can be contacted at He also serves as Secretary for Global Network for Blood Donation.


Editor's note:  District 5810 is comprised geographically of eight counties: Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall, in an area roughly seventy miles wide and one hundred forty miles long. Territorially District 5810 is the smallest of the nine present districts in Texas, but it is tied with several of districts for the number of clubs. District 5810 is part of Rotary International Zone 26, which also includes parts of Oklahoma and Louisiana.