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Release: Immediate

Houston Ballet's 'Dracula' prompts UI 'Drip for Dracula' blood drive Oct. 28-29

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dracula needs your blood! Actually, it's patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) who are in need of the life-giving fluid, so Hancher Auditorium is heralding the arrival of the Houston Ballet's Halloween performances of "Dracula" with a "Drip for Dracula" blood drive, noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 28-29, in the Hancher Auditorium lobby.

The drive, in collaboration with the DeGowin Blood Center, intends to collect 100 units of blood to be used for transfusions at UIHC. Although the blood donations will NOT go to nourish blood-thirsty vampires, DeGowin Blood Center technicians will be dressed in costumes appropriate for the occasion.

To make a reservation for a Hancher-lobby blood donation, call 319-335-1130. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are encouraged. The entire procedure will take about 45 minutes. Remember to bring a photo ID, and be sure you know the names and purposes of any medications you are currently taking.

Everyone donating will receive an "I Dripped for Dracula" coupon, redeemable for a $5 discount on tickets to the "Dracula" performances at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 in Hancher. A coupon will also be given to everyone donating blood during the month of October at the DeGowin Centers at Boyd Tower of UIHC or at 1070 William St. in the Towncrest area of Iowa City.

The minimum requirements for donating blood are: age 17 or older, weight 110 pounds or more, good health, no antibiotics taken recently, no cold or flu symptoms during the five days before donation, no tatoos for one year before donation, and a good meal eaten within four hours before donating. For further information, contact the DeGowin Center at 319-356-2058.

The need for blood is great. More than 500 donors are needed each week to supply the blood needed by patients at UIHC. Donating blood is safe: Infectious diseases cannot be contracted through the blood-donation process. Blood can be donated every eight weeks.

Tickets for the Houston Ballet production of "Dracula" are available at the Hancher box office. Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284.

People with special needs for access, seating and other services should dial (319) 335-1158. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Country Bancorporation and Kay J.A. Bernau are the sponsors of the Houston Ballet "Dracula" through the University of Iowa Foundation.