The American Red Cross is coming off its slowest part of the year with a variety of incentives to get people in Wichita to give blood during Labor Day weekend.
They include daily drawings for free $100 gas cards, a one-time drawing for a $1,000 gas card and a drawing for four tickets to NASCAR races at the Kansas Speedway in October.
All local blood donors will receive a Red Cross Racing camouflage hat, and one person nationwide will win a 2011 Ford Fiesta.
Jennifer Keller, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said summer traditionally is a slow time for blood donations and "a lot of our big drives have not done as well for us as they should have."
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The local Red Cross office has met its goals, but barely did so in July, she said, so the Labor Day incentives are intended to "give us a good push going into the fall."
The Red Cross started a $100 gas card daily drawing in mid-August and will continue it until Sept. 15. Donors who give blood between today and Monday will be entered in a drawing for a $1,000 gas card. They also can fill out an entry slip for a chance to win four tickets to the NASCAR races.
Anyone who gives blood in September, at a blood drive or donor center, will receive the hat. Entry information for the Ford Fiesta is at redcrossracing.com.
The Red Cross has a donor center in west Wichita that will be open over the weekend, as will the center downtown at 707 N. Main.
The center at 8414 W. 13th St., next to the Dollar Tree that's just east of 13th and Tyler, will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Labor Day, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
The downtown center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today, from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Labor Day, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Donation appointments may be scheduled online at www.redcrossblood.org or by calling 316-268-0835. Walk-in donors also are welcome.