Blood drive to be held in memory of the late Judge Gilbert Burnett, free antibodies tests offered

Give the gift of life at special blood drive

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - This week, you have the chance to give the gift of life while honoring a legacy judge who passed away in November.

The American Red Cross is partnering with the Wilmington East Rotary Club to host a special blood drive in honor of the late Judge Gilbert Burnett. Judge Burnett was the Chief Judge of the 5th Judicial District of Wilmington for twenty-three years. The longtime Rotarian was an advocate and supporter of many civic projects, including the return of the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship to Wilmington in 1961.

Judge Burnett’s brother, Julian and the Wilmington East Rotary Club are sponsoring the blood drive which will take place this Thursday at the Masonic Lodge located at 2910 S. College Rd. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

James Jarvis with the American Red Cross says the need for blood right now is urgent.

“There’s an incredible need for blood right now,” Jarvis says. “Twenty percent of all the blood we collect actually came from school drives, both high schools and colleges so when they went to virtual learning, we lost all of those blood drives. Similarly, a lot of businesses have canceled their blood drives because most of their employees are working remotely, so it really has put us in an urgent appeal for blood.”

There’s a perk to donating blood on Thursday. The Wilmington East Rotary is also paying for donors to get tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Each test cost $7.50

“The Wilmington East Rotary, in addition to sponsoring this blood drive is also sponsoring all of the COVID antibodies testing across our entire region on Thursday. More than 500 donors will have their COVID antibodies tests paid for by the Wilmington East Rotary so we really appreciate that support.”

To make an appointment to give blood Thursday, click here.

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