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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Members of the Lockport City School District community will come together to support local patients though a pair of Unyts blood drives on Friday.

Students, teachers, administrators and staff will have the opportunity to give blood at the drives and are inviting the public to give as well.

Unyts — formerly UNYTS: Upstate New York Transplant Services — is Western New York’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center. Unyts is the primary supplier of blood products to all hospitals in Niagara and Wyoming counties, as well as Kaleida Health and ECMC.

“The Lockport City School District is proud to host this community and regional event,” said Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley. “Unfortunately, we have recognized the need for blood donations among members of our own learning community. As a close knit district, we support one another and this event will demonstrate the care and concern we have for each other, along with helping many others in the area.”

On the same day, the Lockport High School Donate Life Club will host an assembly for students regarding organ, eye, tissue and community blood donation. The Donate Life Club is a Unyts-sponsored service and leadership program. The club will also have a cookie sale with the theme “Give the Gift of Life this holiday season.”

Speakers at the assembly will include Sally Moore, Wendy Lanfear and Leah Sobieraski. Moore is the mother of 2002 LHS graduate Stephanie Jean Moore-Verratti, who became an organ donor after her life was cut short by a car crash in December 2010. An annual soccer tournament and fundraiser honoring Verratti support charitable causes and a memorial scholarship in her name. The scholarship is given to Lockport students who play soccer, as she did.

Special education teacher Wendy Lanfear’s late husband was a donor. Her daughter, 2010 LHS graduate Lea Sobieraski, received a life-saving liver transplant in 2013. This fall, the former Lady Lions basketball star was cleared to return to her spot on the Geneseo women’s basketball team.

The Lockport High School Donate Life Club will host a drive in the auditorium foyer at the school  from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday. The same day, the Unyts Donate Life Express Bus will be at the Lockport Board of Education office from 7-10 a.m. and at Anna Merritt Elementary School from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and members of the public are welcome to give there. Appointments can be made at by clicking the “Give Blood” icon and entering sponsor code 0166. Donors can also call 512-7940

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