ITHACA, NY — Donors gathered to kick off Ithaca’s 2nd annual Wizarding Weekend to donate blood on Thursday as part of the ‘Half Blood Prince Blood Drive’.
Tompkins County Public Library teamed up this year with the Red Cross to host this first event of the weekend, which was held at the library in the Borg Warner community room. The cleverly named event was titled in memory of the late Alan Rickman, otherwise known as the Half Blood Prince in the Harry Potter films. The drive began at 1 p.m. and welcomed donors until 6 p.m.
Pete Browning, of Ithaca, said he tries to give blood at least twice a year when possible, but was aware that this particular drive was a Wizarding Weekend event. Unlike other festivals in Ithaca, Browning appreciated that Wizarding Weekend was less focused on profiting from vendors or food trucks.
“It’s more about people coming down to enjoy the weekend and hang out with each other,” he said as he sat down to give blood. “It’s a people event – everybody can participate in some way.”
Kara Kristek, a collection technician for the Red Cross, said there were about 33 people signed up to donate blood for the event. Ethan Kremer, a volunteer signing people in at the door said that the majority of the people who showed up for the event were not scheduled, but instead arrived as walk-ins. Kristek stated that on average people tend to donate at least a pint of blood to the Red Cross.
Teri Hornsby, of Ithaca, said she hadn’t given blood in many years, but Wizarding Weekend had brought her out for the cause. Both she and Browning agreed they would be attending more wizarding events in the upcoming weekend.