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Join local rugby players for record-breaking blood drive Saturday

Group needs help breaking state record

Dec. 19, 2012

Records are meant to be broken, and a group of local rugby players are out to do just that. On Saturday, Dec. 21, the Lake Country Rugby Association, which is affiliated with the Oconomowoc Rugby Team and Lake Country High School Rugby Team, is out for blood. For the third year, the group is setting out to break Wisconsin's record for the most units of blood donated on a single day.

Organizer and rugby player Bruce Lesniak championed the effort with fellow players two years ago to help boost the American Red Cross' blood supplies in Wisconsin. The familiar saying, "Give blood, play rugby," has a double meaning for rugby players in Lake Country.

Last year, the group - with the help of all who stopped in to donate - did break the record by surpassing 600 units of blood donated on a single day in Wisconsin. The group works through Tryline Rugby Charity, which promotes the sport of rugby, provides education and safety in the sport, develops inner city teams and established a fund to help injured players, according to trylinerugbycharities.com.

Saturday's venture invites all in Lake Country to help bolster the area's blood banks during what's considered a time of higher need, according to the Tryline website.

Lesniak said the hope is to break the record again this year, but also create more momentum to set a world record for donating blood by 2016, when rugby is brought back as an Olympic sport.

It's easy to donate. You can show up at the local drive site, Divine Redeemer Lutheran Church and School, N48 W31385 Highway 83, Delafield, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. or stop by one of numerous sites around the state that's participating in the Tryline effort. Visit trylinerugbycharities.com for more information.

Beyond helping save a life by donating, Lesniak said there are treats in store for donors. Sponsors will reward you for donating. For example, Revere's Wells Street Tavern in Delafield is offering a free pint of beer for a pint of blood, and Culver's on Grandview is offering a pint of ice cream for a pint of blood. Visit the website for more sponsor offers.

Give blood

What: Local rugby players seek donors to break the state record for the most blood donated in a single day. Donors will receive free stuff for giving blood.

When: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21

Where: Divine Redeemer Lutheran Church and School, N48 W31385 Highway 83, Delafield

Info: www.trylinerugbycharities.com

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