Scout leader recognized for quick action with choking boy

Ryan Avery, right, accepts the Medal of Merit from Chuck Mahaleris, chairman of the Kennebec Valley District. (photo courtesy of Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Cub Scout Pack #672 and Scout Troop #672 gathered at Spare Time Recreation, in Hallowell, to end the Scouting year with a night of family bowling. However, the biggest part of the evening was not all of the pins that fell but rather the awarding of the Medal of Merit to Troop #672 leader Ryan Avery who saved a boy from choking earlier this year.

Avery, who lives in West Gardiner and teaches science at Gardiner Regional Middle School, was working the lunch detail this past September when he noticed a student who was choking. A witness, who did not wish to be identified, observed Avery talk to the young man and ask if he was choking. The boy nodded and Ryan immediately began the Heimlich Maneuver. In short order, the bottle cap from his water bottle was removed from the youth’s mouth and he was able to breathe fully. The witness then described that Ryan ensured the young man was ok and quietly cleaned up the area and went about his duties.

Earlier this month, Avery had completed 16 weeks of EMT classes and now Ryan has even more training under his belt should the need arise in the future.

EVENTS – Red Cross: Donation shortfall may impact blood supply

The American Red Cross has seen a shortfall of about 25,000 blood donations in the first two months of the summer, which makes it hard to keep hospital shelves stocked with lifesaving blood products. By making an appointment to give blood or platelets in August, donors can keep the national blood supply from falling to shortage levels.

Right now, the Red Cross especially needs type O negative, type O positive, type B negative and type A negative blood donors as well as platelet donors. For those who don’t know their blood type, making a donation is an easy way to find out this important personal health information. The Red Cross will notify new donors of their blood type soon after they give.

The Red Cross needs donors now. Schedule an appointment to give by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

All who come to give throughout the month of August will get a $10 e-gift card to a movie merchant of their choice. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Movie.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Aug. 16-31:

Augusta: Monday, August 28, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Augusta Elks, 397 Civic Center Drive, P.O. Box 2206;

Gardiner: Saturday,August 19, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 109 Spring Street;

Waterville: Friday,August 18, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Best Western Plus Waterville Grand Hotel, 375 Main Street;

Winslow: Wednesday, August 30, noon, – 5 p.m., Winslow VFW, 175 Veterans Drive.

Upcoming Red Cross blood drives in Kennebec County

The American Red Cross urges blood donors of all types and those who have never given before to book a time to give blood or platelets now and help keep the blood supply from dropping ahead of the holidays.

People of all blood types are needed, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood – blood products that are critical to keeping hospitals ready to help patients depending on transfusions in the weeks ahead.

Book now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you for taking the time to give this fall, all who come to give Nov.1-22 will receive a $10 e-gift card by email to a merchant of choice. Details are available at rcblood.org/perks.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 1-15:

Kennebec County:

Augusta

Monday, November 14, 2022: 12:30 – 6 p.m., Augusta Elks, 397 Civic Center Drive, P.O. Box 2206.
Friday, November 4/2022: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., MaineGeneral Health, 35 Medical Center Parkway.

Gardiner

Saturday, November 5, 2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Faith Christian Church, 280 Brunswick Ave.

Waterville

Friday, November 4, 2022: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., O’Brien’s Event Center, 375 Main St.

Winthrop

Thursday, November 3, 2022: 1 – 6 p.m., Saint Francis Church, 130 Route 133.

Race in to give blood or platelets this fall

Now that fall is upon us, the American Red Cross is asking the public to start the season off with a lifesaving blood or platelet donation. While the leaves turn, the need for blood never changes. Those who give this fall play an important role in keeping the blood supply on track for patients counting on blood products for care – especially ahead of the busy holiday season. Book a time to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Kennebec County:

Augusta, October 10, 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Augusta Elks, 397 Civic Center Drive, P.O. Box 2206;

October 7, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., MaineGeneral Health, 35 Medical Center Parkway;

Belgrade: October 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Belgrade Center for All Seasons, 1 Center Drive.

Gardiner, October 15, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 109 Spring Street.

Waterville, October 7, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Waterville Elks, 76 Industrial Street.

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

HCCA receives lead poisoning prevention grant

Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, serving southern Kennebec County, is delighted to have received a Lead Poisoning Prevention grant from the State of Maine Health and Human Services to reduce lead poisoning in Augusta and Gardiner. The grant, recognizing the interconnected nature of communities, provides support for a coalition with representatives from the cities of Augusta and Gardiner, landlords and organizations serving young families. This group will collaborate on ways to reduce childhood exposure to lead, and educate the public on best lead poisoning prevention practices. For more information, and to become involved, contact Project Coordinator, Karen Tucker at ktucker@mcd.org or 207.588.5012.