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Randall Wingfield starts his ninth gallon of blood donations at the 31st Annual Masonic Community as Red Cross phlebotomist Perry Trull waits to collect the pint of blood.

The Masonic Lodge continued its tradition of helping others in the community by sponsoring its 31st annual Masonic Blood Drive on Friday.

Nine sites were set up across the area for people to participate in the blood drive, including the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville. Those wishing to donate blood could visit the center from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Owen Estep, Master of the Mooresville Masonic Lodge 496, said that as of Thursday, 52 appointments to give had been set up. As of 10 a.m. approximately 12 to 13 people had visited the site to donate and help give back to the community.

He said that the American Red Cross set up a goal for this year’s drive of 91 units based on the local lodge’s participation last year.

The Mooresville Masonic Lodge has continued to sponsor this event because of how it important it is to give.

“Due to illness and injury, there’s always a need for blood. After the holidays, there’s always a higher demand,” Estep said. And for him personally, he shared it is “a way of helping those in need, giving to the community. Every family has members who need blood from one time to another,” he continued. “It’s very unfortunate, but a fact of life.”

The supply of blood is so low Estep said that the Red Cross is offering two tickets for the Super Bowl to be held in Miami, Florida to those who give through Jan.19. When people register to donate blood, their names are automatically put into a drawing for the tickets, he said.

Randall Wingfield, a member of the Campbell Lodge 374 in Troutman was on hand to give blood during the annual drive. He said that on this particular visit, he was starting his ninth gallon.

Wingfield said that his son has spent nine tours of duty in Iraq serving as a member of the Green Berets. He told his father that they can use all the blood they can get, so knowing the importance of giving, his father does just that in order to help others.

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