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Aqueduct to host Red Cross blood drive March 28

By Nailah Ellis Timberlake | 03/21/2014 10:58 AM ET

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the American Red Cross are partnering to host a blood drive on Friday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The blood drive will take place on the fourth floor of the Clubhouse in the Aqueduct Room Lobby and all donors will receive a Red Cross tote bag, donor decal sticker and will be entered to win a $50 gift card.

This is the second blood drive that NYRA has hosted with The American Red Cross. In addition to the blood drive, the first race of the day will be named in their honor.

"With the implementation of new programs, our ongoing partnership has continued to grow," said Joanne Adams, Director of Community Relations for NYRA. "NYRA is committed to providing direct support to our local communities."

After Superstorm Sandy, NYRA donated $100,000 to the Red Cross and use of its parking lot at Aqueduct Racetrack to operate a mobile feeding kitchen and relief supplies staging area.

Recently, NYRA opened up Belmont Park as an additional disaster relief location and has joined the Red Cross' corporate volunteer program "Ready When the Time Comes" to mobilize employees as a community-based volunteer force when disaster strikes.

"The Red Cross is thrilled to team up with NYRA in support of the community blood supply. We are so appreciative of the continual support that NYRA has provided to our organization," said Kay E. Schwartz, CEO, Red Cross Blood Services - New York-Penn Region. "It is because of dedicated and generous partners, like NYRA, that we are able to provide lifesaving blood to hospital patients where and when it is needed."

NYRA's history of support through the years has also included fundraising efforts at Saratoga, following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

The Red Cross is asking eligible donors of all blood types to donate in order to strengthen the community's supply. Walk-ins are welcome, but donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by visiting www.redcrossblood.org