The New York State Fair begins in just eight days, and the American Red Cross of Central New York is proud to be a part of it, both inside and outside the fairgrounds.

Thanks to the generosity of Crucible Industries, we’re once again offering convenient parking in the Red Cross lot on State Fair Boulevard directly across from Crucible and just a short walk from the main entrance. The donation to park is $10, and the lot will be open every day during the fair’s 13-day run Aug. 21 through Sept. 2.

Volunteers are still needed, with morning, afternoon and evening shifts available. Everyone who participates receives a complimentary admission ticket good for any day of the fair for each shift they volunteer. For more information, or to sign up, call (315) 234-2243.

Proceeds support Red Cross programs and services. In the past year, the central New York chapter:

• Responded to 166 local disaster incidents, providing immediate emergency assistance for 256 families;

• Made 502 homes safer through the installation of 1,410 free smoke alarms as part of the Home Fire Campaign;

• Trained 12,149 people in first aid, CPR and water safety skills;

• Provided 883 case services to military members, veterans and their families via Service to the Armed Forces;

• And collected 36,100 blood donations from volunteer donors.

The central New York chapter serves communities in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties.

Once inside the fair gates, please help by donating blood. Red Cross bloodmobiles will welcome donors each day of the fair from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. We’ll be located near gate four.

To help address the current emergency blood shortage, all who come to give blood or platelets with the American Red Cross at the New York State Fair will receive a Red Cross tote bag and the following, thanks to support of our local community partners:

• $8 voucher for Gianelli Sausage

• $10 coupon for WonderWorks at DestinyUSA

In addition, with the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who come to donate through Aug. 29 with a $5 Amazon gift card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at redcrossblood.org/together.)

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give now by activating Amazon’s Alexa Red Cross Blood Skill by saying, “Alexa, find a blood drive,” or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling (800) RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

When an emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often unpredictable needs of patients. The need for blood is constant. In the United States, every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

Thank you to the Auburn community for your continuing support of the Red Cross.

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Dan Hartman is regional communications program manager for the American Red Cross of Western and Central New York. For more information, call (315) 234-2200 or email info.cny@redcross.org.