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Family donates gift of life at Christmastime

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

VICTORIA -- For the Younger and Roth families this year, Christmas Eve was an occasion for sharing a life-saving gift.

The first Younger/Roth family blood drive, which took place Monday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Victoria, brought 17 family members together to donate blood.

Organized for her family by Cathy Younger, American Red Cross donor recruitment representative for the Central Plains Region, the blood drive was a time for sharing some tasty treats, a few family laughs and coming together to help those in need of blood donations.

"We have a pretty close family, so this is neat," said David Younger, Windsor, Colo. "I give blood all the time in Colorado, so I was all for it right away.

"I think it's cool."

Family members also drove in from Olathe, Atchison and Hays.

For five of the donors, Tuesday's blood drive was their first attempt at giving blood.

Beth Ricke, first-time donor, also was winner of the morning's blood drive trivia contest. Questions ranged from how often a blood transfusion is done in the U.S to how many pints of blood are needed each day in Kansas.

Ricke attributed her success to having read Cathy Younger's Facebook posts.

Cathy Younger began plans for the blood drive a few months ago, in hopes of filling a need for donations that is difficult to meet during the holidays. In addition, the event gave family members another opportunity to get together. Younger hopes to plan a similar event in Victoria annually.

"This drive worked out perfect, because I use this spot for our Victoria blood drive," she said.