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Boots & Badges Blood Drive sees great turnout

Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 8:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2021 at 8:43 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Saturday, more than 100 people donated blood at the Boots and Badges Blood Drive.

Those that gave blood at the event were able to vote whether they wanted to donate for the boots, which is the fire department, or the badges, which is the police department.

Oklahoma Blood Institute of Southwest Oklahoma Executive Director Christi Chambers says this is the best turnout the event has had in years.

“I think it brings comradery, it brings everybody together, it feels good to have an event and be able to celebrate both the fire and the police, and then also to donate blood, and be able to save three people’s lives with one donation,” Chambers said.

Andrew Grubbs with the Lawton Police Department said this event brings out friendly competition between the first responder groups. The event will benefit anyone needing blood, but the fire department had some extra motivation to win today in honor of their former captain Scott Preston, who is battling leukemia.

“Well obviously anyone that needs blood, this benefits them, but for the Lawton Fire Department and the Lawton Police Department, Captain Scott Preston of the Lawton Fire Department is dealing with leukemia and is always in need of blood. So, this benefits him specifically, and a lot of people here are donating for him specifically. So, that’s really why we’re trying to raise awareness and have people come out and donate,” Grubbs said.

Although the competition was close, the fire department came out victorious, receiving 63 donations to the police department’s 55. Chambers said that the blood donated Saturday will stay in the area to help those in need.

Anyone 16 years or older can typically donate blood every 56 days, and you can donate regardless of if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule an appointment, visit OBI.org.

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