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Red Cross seeks donations to ease emergency plasma shortage

RUTLAND — The American Red Cross has an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma, a potentially lifesaving treatment for patients with COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma is plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection and have antibodies that might help fight that infection — in this case, those who have fully recovered from COVID-19. With each donation, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to help up to three patients recover from the virus.

According to a news release, the Red Cross has seen demand for convalescent plasma more than double over the last month as the number of coronavirus cases increases across the U.S. Convalescent plasma products are now being distributed faster than donations are coming in.

Individuals who have fully recovered and received a verified COVID-19 diagnosis are urged to sign up to give convalescent plasma now by completing the donor eligibility form at

Upcoming dates and times for area blood and plasma donation include Wednesday, Aug. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Springfield Elks Home, 49 Park St.; Friday, Aug. 7, from noon to 5 p.m., at the Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way; and Tuesday, Aug. 11, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 54 Chickering Drive, Brattleboro.

Call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) to reserve a spot.

Everyone Eats! program starts next week

BRATTLEBORO — Everyone Eats! is a food-relief program that leverages federal relief funds to engage local restaurants in making to-go meals for anyone whose food security has been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis due to unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, and other financial challenges.

This program is available to anyone living in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Putney, or Vernon.

Between Aug. 3 and Aug. 27, 600 meals per week will be distributed at MamaSezz, 127 Marlboro Rd., West Brattleboro and the Church Building parking lot on Flat Street through a safe and touchless distribution method.

Meals will be distributed Monday through Thursday between 4 and 6 p.m., first-come, first-serve, to individuals and organizations. Meals will be distributed cold and can be heated up.

Visit for more information, or contact Frances Huntley at with any questions.

VSAC opens ‘Zoom rooms’ for adult learners

WINOOSKI — Mark your calendars for Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for free interactive webinars to help Vermonters looking for training and certificate programs — and for information about how to get financial aid.

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 4, Vermont Student Assistance Corp. will host weekly informational sessions via its “Zoom room” format.

Bring your questions and get answers from VSAC’s Educational Opportunity Center counselors. You also can make follow-up appointments to individually review your personal financial aid situation.

To learn more and register, visit The weekly Zoom room sessions also will be recorded for later viewing.

Despite COVID-19 precautions, Youth Services’ golf tourney raises $15,000

BRATTLEBORO — An enthusiastic turnout by local golfers — 94 in all — and strong corporate support helped the Youth Services’ 35th Annual Golf Tournament on July 22 generate more than $15,000 to help underwrite the agency’s programs.

The charity tournament was the first of the season to be held at the Brattleboro Country Club.

The Richards Group team of Cathy Coonan, Rick Manson, Dave Anderson, and Bill Pettengill won First Gross, with the Trust Company of Vermont team of Jack Davidson and Marilyn, Larry, and Chris Cassidy tying for First Net with the Dimension Fabricators team of Joel Patrie, Jimmy Hollar, Chad Contaldi, and Tom Lentocha.

The UNFI team of Theresa Terault, Bill Roderick, Mike Lynch, and Bruce Kelley took Second Gross. Terry Boyce won the prize for the Women’s Longest Drive. Theresa Terault took Women’s Closest to the Line, with Jen Perkins winning the prize for Women’s Closest to the Pin at 28 feet, 3 inches.

In the Men’s Division, Evan Chadwick took the prize for Men’s Longest Drive. Andy Leblanc took Men’s Closest to the Line with Victor Morrison winning Men’s Closest to Pin at 2 feet, 9 inches.

In the Putting Contest, which raised $230 for the agency, Bruce Kelley, Cliff Allard, and Dan Richardson all putted 2 each, with Dan Richardson winning the pot through his name being drawn.

Senior Center offers free flu and pneumonia vaccination

BRATTLEBORO — The Senior Center is now taking registrations over the phone for its annual free flu and pneumonia vaccination on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the lower level of the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St.

All participating seniors must have the red, white, and blue Medicare B card. The center will accept only the new Medicare card that does not show a Social Security number, and participants must bring their card with them to their appointment.

The flu vaccine is free. The pneumonia vaccine is free to all seniors as long as they have not had a pneumonia vaccine before.

Vaccines are not available for those with Green Mountain Care because of billing restrictions. Seniors with this plan should contact a local pharmacy for the flu and/or pneumonia shot.

To register, call 802-257-7570 by Friday, Aug. 21. All questions concerning the vaccination and eligibility should be directed to 603-357-0423.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #572 (Wednesday, July 29, 2020). This story appeared on page A4.

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