MANCHESTER, NH – It’s only fitting that the home of superheroes played host to an event next month that can transform everyday Manchester-area residents into someone’s hero.
Despite COVID-19, the Northern New England Red Cross is still holding its annual Gail Singer Memorial Blood Drive this year; with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and other dignitaries gathered outside Double Midnight Comics on Valley Street on Wednesday to spread the word.
This year’s blood drive will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 26 and 27.
“A lot of events have been postponed, so it’s great that this blood drive is happening,” said Craig. “Now more than ever, it’s quick and easy to head over to the (Doubletree) and do it. It means an awful lot.”
Entering its 37th year, the Gail Singer Memorial Blood Drive commemorates the late wife of Gary Singer, the owner of Merchants Automotive Group.
“When I talk to people throughout the year, many people say ‘I save one donation for the Gail Singer Drive,” said Mary Brant, communications manager for the Red Cross of Northern New England. “It’s a party, it’s a real celebration of the life of Gail Singer.”
In past years, it has been one of the largest single-day blood drives in the country, but the size of this year’s blood drive is uncertain given the pandemic, with scheduling strongly recommended for those seeking to donate.
This marks the first time the kick-off of the event was held at Double Midnight, one of the event’s sponsors in recent years. With the cancellation of Free Comic Book Day earlier this year, the store is participating in Free Comic Book Summer and will offer free comic books to those who donate blood.
For Double Midnight Employee Jill Stewart, the tradition of many comic book superheroes wearing masks and doing good deeds seemed to fit in well with holding a blood drive during the current pandemic.
“We’re really excited for the event and looking forward to meeting folks and saying ‘hey, it’s cool to wear a mask and give blood,” said Stewart.
More information on the event is available at gailsingermemorial.org