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UCSB Graduate Student Winner of Blood Services’ Prius Giveaway

UCSB graduate student Kay Zare was chosen Saturday as the winner of the Toyota Prius Drive To Save Lives Giveaway put on by United Blood Services, Central Coast with support from local Gold Coast Toyota dealers.

To draw attention to the ongoing need for blood and encourage donors to make the extra effort to give blood three times per year, United Blood Services gave donors an extra incentive to donate blood this summer: the chance to win a new Toyota Prius.

Residents who donated from July 1 through Sept. 30 were automatically entered into the giveaway for a new car. The promotion was a success thanks to the many donors who rose to the challenge. United Blood Services saw 22,000 volunteer blood donors throughout the promotion, resulting in 19,800 blood products for the community.

Saturday’s giveaway was held at the San Luis Obispo Blood Center. Residents were encouraged not only to donate blood, but to bring friends and family along for a barbecue, bounce house and children’s craft zone. Nineteen Toyota Prius finalists selected throughout the summer were in attendance. Each finalist chose a duffle bag filled with automobile-related prizes, and one bag contained the key to a start a new Prius.

Zare, winner of the new 2008 Toyota Prius, had trouble finding the event. He lost his direction on his drive up from Santa Barbara, nearly running out of gas and almost missing his chance to participate. “I got a little nervous wondering if I would even make it by 2 o’clock or if I would be on the side of the road waiting for AAA,” he said.

Zare is a political science major who has been donating blood since he first started at UCSB, but it was while tutoring at Santa Barbara City College this summer that he saw the blood mobile bus and decided to donate. “I cannot emphasize enough how important I think it is to donate blood,” he said. “The genuine thrill of giving something so vital, but without a dollar value, is unlike any feeling I have experienced.”

Blood drives are happening daily throughout the region. Click here for more information. Donors can make an appointment or walk in.

Janna Nichols represents United Blood Services, Central Coast.

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