Be a hero, have some ice cream

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Dairy Queen of Newfoundland is hosting a blood drive on Friday, Sept. 12, from 4 to 8 p.m. In return, those who donate will get the wonderful feeling that comes with saving lives. And as a bonus, Dairy Queen will also give a pint of soft serve for every pint of blood donated. That's a win-win.

Dairy Queen is working in conjunction with The Blood Center of New Jersey. Look for the Bloodmobile in the DQ parking lot at 2648 Route 23 North.

Now that summer is over and folks are back on a regular schedule, fitting a blood donation in is a little easier to do. On Sept. 12, donors can also get a free ice cream.

Sixteen year olds can now donate blood in the state of New Jersey with parental/guardian consent. The consent forms will be available at the blood drive — parent or guardian must accompany the donor.

Blood center officials note that each unit of blood donated is broken down into several components including platelets, plasma and red cells, so one donation can save up to three lives. The donation process is safe and simple. Donors are first asked medical history questions and given a mini-health check, including pulse, blood pressure and iron level. The actual donation of blood takes five to seven minutes and then the donor us given a snack or juice, or in this case, ice cream. The entire process generally takes under an hour. Donors will receive a free cholesterol screening.

In addition to being at least 16 years old, donors must weigh 120 pounds and be in general good health. There is no upper age limit for donors provided they meet health requirements.

Donors should bring a signed or picture form of identification and know their social security number. Eat a meal one hour before donating and drink plenty of water. People with a fever or sore throat should wait until they are feeling better before donating and there is a 24 hour deferral for teeth cleanings and fillings. For those who recently traveled outside the United States and for other eligibility questions call the blood center at 973-676-4700 ext. 132.

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