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  • Jordan D. Smith

St. Patrick Blood Donor Headed to Super Bowl LVI

The NFL season may not start till September, but we already know at least one person who will be at Super Bowl LVI next February. St. Patrick Catholic School teacher Mary Cook may not be taking the field for either team, but she will be in the stands all because she showed up to donate a pint of blood at a Red Cross blood drive earlier this year. Now she is headed to Los Angeles courtesy of the NFL and American Red Cross.

This past January as part of a drive to promote blood, platelet and plasma, all donors were automatically entered in a drawing for a chance to win a Super Bowl getaway trip. As the winner of the contest, Mary and her guest will receive tickets to the Super Bowl Game, entry to the official NFL tailgate party, and tickets to the Super Bowl Experience. She will also receive roundtrip airfare to Los Angeles, a three night stay in a hotel and a $500 gift card to cover other expenses.

Giving blood is not a new thing for Cook, who says that she first donated blood when her sister had heart surgery in the late 1980’s. That directed donation started a lifelong habit of giving back. “I have continued to give blood because it is something very easy to do yet something that will help others. I decided to give blood in January because the blood drive was at St. Patrick’s School where I teach first grade and I try to give at every drive at the school,” says Cook.

That her donation led to a trip of a lifetime was a shock to Cook as she was originally not going to donate in January but filled in when a colleague had to cancel a donation appointment. “I was excited and stunned…,” said Cook, “in fact, I called the Red Cross number I had just to confirm it was real.” Asked who she plans to take with her to LA in February 2022, Cook related that she and her husband were set to celebrate their 5 year anniversary this past spring with a trip. Due to the pandemic, their plans changed, but now they plan to celebrate a year late by taking in the Super Bowl together and enjoying the sights in Los Angeles.

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds a patient in the United States needs a blood transfusion. Whether it be a victim of an automobile accident or a patient battling cancer, the need is constant. “I would encourage anyone that is able to donate [blood],” says Cook, “it doesn’t take long and it is easy.” To find opportunities to donate blood near you, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

PHOTO: Courtesy photo

DISCLAIMER: When Jordan Smith is not writing for The Beacon, he teaches high school science at St. Patrick Catholic School where he also serves as the National Honor Society Advisor and Red Cross Coordinator.


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