Local blood supplies are at and even below critical levels, according to Alana Ladd-Ross of United Blood Services, the organization responsible for supplying some 30 Northern Nevada health-care facilities with the essence of life.
In the spirit of friendly competition, Mayor Robert Cashell of Reno, Mayor Geno Martini of Sparks and Mayor Marv Teixeira of Carson City are giving up their time and freedom on Monday to raise awareness for the much-needed blood.
Each city father will be "held hostage" until local blood-collection goals are reached.
"They desperately need blood and we're there to help them out," says Mayor Teixeira, a type O.
Even if that means being incarcerated and held for ransom at local blood banks.
"We really need the blood," says Ladd-Ross. "Summer is such a crucial time and we're very low," she says. "And we're coming up on the Fourth of July," she says, unfortunately, a high-demand day for the organization's product.
"We're very blessed to have all three mayors donate their time like this" she says.
While blood donations are always encouraged, the special "mayoral ransom" blood-drive will last from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday.
Mayor Teixeira will be at United Blood Services on Winnie Lane in Carson City from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Those who didn't vote for the incumbents are encouraged to give blood anyway, and will receive the traditional donor's feast of cookies and juice as well as a chance at bigger prizes.
Ladd-Ross says the Horseshoe Club is donating sandwiches and salads, gift certificates will be raffled off and all donors will be entered into a drawing for a four-day, three-night Carnival cruise to the location of their choice.
Every donor will also receive a ticket to this year's Reno-Tahoe Open.
Humans have between 10 and 12 pints of blood in their body.
"We only take one," says Ladd-Ross.
Blood donors have to be 17-years-old, at least 110 pounds and in good health, and not have gotten a tattoo within a year's time of the donation.
"Most people can donate," says Ladd-Ross. "We advise that you drink plenty of fluids - lots of water before coming in."
"One unit can potentially save three lives," she said.
n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.
You can help
What: Free Mayor Marv! Blood drive and contest
Where: United Blood Services, 256 E. Winnie Lane
Information: Call 887-9111
Online appointments can be made at: www.bloodhero.com