Dr. Arthur F. Eddy, family dentist, in Shirley, and the Ayer-Shirley Lions Club will co-sponsor their seventh annual American Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, May 3, from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Parish Hall, 33 Chapel St., Shirley.

We want to thank everyone in the community who has generously donated their blood in the past. There is no greater gift than the gift of life and we are extremely grateful to all the wonderful donors who have supported our blood drives each year. You are true heroes!

On May 3, all blood drive participants will be eligible to win a pair of great Boston Red Sox tickets on the first base side of Fenway Park. Two lucky blood donors will each walk away with two tickets to the Aug. 31 Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox game.

All donors will receive a $25 gift card good for tires or auto services, courtesy of Sullivan Tire & Auto Center. Donors will also receive a toothbrush.

A "Children's Corner" play area will be available with toys and books for children who come with their parents.

Nationally, less than five percent of the population gives blood, supporting the other 95 percent. According to the American Red Cross, the number one reason why people do not donate is because they have never been asked. With that fact in mind, we are asking everyone in the community to consider donating blood. There is no substitute and it cannot be manufactured. Its only source is a healthy volunteer donor.

Donating blood is a safe and simple process. To give blood, you must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 16 years of age (16 year olds need a signed parental consent). Most medications are OK. You can donate red blood cells every 56 days or double red cells every 112 days. Positive ID is required.

Walk-ins are welcome. However, to ensure less waiting time, make an appointment at 1-800-RED CROSS or log on to www.redcrossblood.org.

Please join us on Friday, May 3, from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Anthony's Parish Hall. There is no better way to support our community than by giving the gift of life!

DR. ARTHUR F. EDDY AND AYER-SHIRLEY LIONS CLUB

co-sponsors of the American Red Cross Blood Drive