News

Radio marathon boosts Gift-of-Life Marathon

News Release

Contact: Steve Costello, Green Mountain Power, (802) 793-4031

For immediate release:  Nov. 22, 2013

Radio marathon boosts Gift-of-Life Marathon

The Gift-of-Life Marathon radio marathon has come to a successful conclusion after 32 hours and 19 minutes – one minute for every pint in the annual blood drive’s goal.

WJJR's Terry Jaye and Green Mountain Power's Steve Costello completed the 1,969-minute marathon Friday at 2:19 p.m., helping sign up more than 250 blood donors in the process.

"I haven't been this tired in a long time but I can't remember when I have had so much fun," Jaye said. "The stories we heard and the people we met make me more committed than ever to ensuring the blood drive's success. We had some unbelievable moments."

From Governor Peter Shumlin and Congressman Peter Welch to volunteer and donor Bobby Pockette, Jaye and Costello interviewed nearly three dozen blood drive supporters, including donors, blood recipients and volunteers.

"It was a really emotional day-plus," Costello said. "There were a couple of times where everyone in the broadcast booth was wiping their eyes, and times we were laughing so hard we could barely talk. It was really uplifting."

Jaye and Costello were joined at various times by WJJR broadcasters Nanci Gordon, Charlie Murphy, Ed Kelly and Michelle Woods, who helped instill energy into the marathon. Overnight guests included Rutland Mayor Chris Louras, Mike Coppinger from the Downtown Rutland Partnership, Castleton College President Dave Wolk and Katye Munger, the college's social media director.

"We actually took dozens of appointments during the overnight hours," Jaye said.  "Just like the blood drive itself, the radio marathon was an amazing collaboration."

John Giroux, a childhood and lifelong friend of Costello now living in Loveland, Colo., called in at 2 a.m. Friday to talk about a similar local drive patterned after the GOLM.  He and his wife are considering a trip to Vermont to participate in the GOLM.

The former Brandon resident said the GOLM was an inspiration and he wanted to be part of it. "I'm looking at flights right now," he said.

Other callers included Gary Moran, a New Hampshire resident who has donated more than 78 gallons of blood over his lifetime, GMP President and CEO Mary Powell, WJJR General Manager Deb Grembowicz, and Mark Alderman, who told an intensely personal story about the need for blood that brought many listeners to tears.

"You couldn't listen to that interview and not be moved," Costello said.

The Gift-of-Life Marathon, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at five locations, has a goal of collecting at least 1,969 pints of blood, which would break the national record. Last year the drive came up 13 pints short of tying the record. The drive is sponsored by WJJR, Green Mountain Power, and Castleton College. To make an appointment, call 800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org.