Pocono Raceway hosting blood drive which tests for COVID-19 antibodies

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LONG POND, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — It is a special year for Pocono Raceway’s blood drive with the American Red Cross as it is being held is in memory of the co-founder of the track, who passed away in June, at the age of 93. 

“We partnered with the American Red Cross to honor our cofounder Doctor Rose Mattioli,” Kevin Heaney, senior director of marketing and communication of Pocono Raceway, told Eyewitness News. “Her and her late husband, they founded this place. Dr Rose unfortunately passed away at the age of 93 last week but their tradition lives on here.

The Mattioli family always found it vital to give back to the local community. The annual blood drive at Pocono Raceway has been a tradition for 15 years.

This year, with the Mattioli’s in mind, the raceway knew it was important to continue the tradition, especially during the pandemic.

“No one knows when this pandemic is going to end, so it’s really important that patients continue to have access to blood platelets,” Alana Mauger, communication manager of Bio Medical Services, said. “So we are asking people to please come out and donate blood.”

Those who donate blood Wednesday, will also be tested for coronavirus antibodies, which in turn, could help those battling the virus. 

“If the antibody is present, it means that person has likely been exposed to coronavirus. It’s really meant to provide an additional tool to help organizations and for our donors to know if they’ve been exposed. It’s not a diagnostics test,” Mauger said.

Those donating say they eager to help those in need.

“I believe everyone should donate blood if they’re eligible. Not only during this time with the pandemicbut at all times. Anytime you can assist someone or make their life easier, it should be done,” Daniel Pedgett, a resident of Mount Pocono, said.

As an added bonus for those coming out to the tricky triangle, people can donate money, and then start their engines for a lap around the track. That money, stays local, to help the American Red Cross Disaster relief fund. 

“Anything that happens in this community that’s related to flooding, or some sort of fire, that’s the disaster relief fund and the money put right towards the organization. And of course following the Mattioli way like we do here at Pocono Raceway, we like to give back to our local community,” Heaney said. 

The lap around the tack will start at noon, and the blood drive goes until 7 tonight.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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