RUMFORD — Travis Ford had never given blood before, but Tuesday he decided it was a good thing to do.

“It could save someone’s life so it’s worth it if I get a little dizzy for a while,” he said.

The Mountain Valley High School sophomore and member of the Student Council, which is the group that sponsored the school’s first-ever blood drive, wasn’t alone.

Dozens of students along with many community members were among the donors Tuesday.

Kirstin Ridge, a senior, said she had given blood twice before. She received a call from the American Red Cross telling her that the blood she had given in the past had saved the lives of six people.

“That made me feel pretty good. I want to help. If I was in that position, I’d want blood to help me,” she said.

Coordinators of the day-long blood drive, Lacey Todd, a special education teacher, and Katie Killam, a math teacher, said students age 16 may donate blood with parental permission. Those 17 and older can decide for themselves.

By midday, more than two-thirds of the goal set for the number of pints to be collected had been drawn. And several dozen more people, both youth and adults, were waiting patiently for their turn.

At day’s end, they hoped to gather 64 pints.

Cam Welch, an Mountain Valley High School senior, prepared for his first blood donation.

“As a leader of the school, I want to show that no one should be afraid of giving,” he said as phlebotomist Brittany Smith prepared his arm for drawing blood.

Welch is president of the Mountain Valley High School Student Council.

Donors must rest for about 20 minutes after their blood is drawn. They are also offered water, juice or snacks.

Killam said a second American Red Cross blood drive at the high school is scheduled for May.

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