Red Cross issues urgent call

Following a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors, the American Red Cross says it is facing a blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give now and prevent delays in medical care.

The Red Cross says it now has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available - and less than a two-day supply of type O blood - for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate using the Blood Donor App, at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

Those interested in hosting a blood drive can learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive this summer by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Upcoming blood drives will be held in Douglas and Grant counties.

ALEXANDRIA

Friday, July 12: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Cowing Robards Inc, 514 Broadway St.

Monday, July 22: 1 p.m.-7 p.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 420 Irving St.

Tuesday, July 23: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 420 Irving St.

Friday, July 26: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Glenwood State Bank, 2221 S Broadway St.

Tuesday, July 30: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Cornerstone Church, 202 7th Ave. E.

MILLERVILLE

Thursday, July 18: 1-6 p.m., Church of the Seven Dolors, 16921 County Road 7

HOFFMAN

Thursday, July 25: 12:30-6:30 p.m., Messiah Lutheran Church, 502 Kentucky

Paddlers come to town

A competition for canoers, kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders returns to the Alexandria area lakes again this weekend.

The Big Ole SUPathon, a fundraiser for the United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties, takes place with three races on Friday, July 12 and a fun paddle on the Long Prairie River on Saturday, July 13.

Friday's big race, the 26-mile Big Ole, starts at 7 a.m. The 12-mile Sven begins at 9 a.m. and the 5-mile Lena starts at 11 a.m. They conclude with a post-paddle party at the Arrowwood Resort marina.

On Saturday, the 10-mile Long Prairie River Cruise starts at 9 a.m. at Lake Carlos Marina and the 8-mile paddle begins at 10 a.m. at the Highway 29 LPR access in Carlos.

Each trip concludes at Belle River.

Andria holds auditions

The Andria Theatre will hold auditions for "Hello, Dolly!" from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16. Both youth and adults are invited to try out for parts in the musical, which is about a New York socialite with romantic schemes.

Those auditioning should bring 16 bars of a song prepared, sheet music for the accompanist, a headshot and a filled-out audition form. They will be expected to do cold reads from the script, move and dance.

For more information, visit andriatheatre.org/hello-dolly. The performance will take place in October.