MANATEE -- Most of the world associates best-selling author Stephen King with his body of work, including “The Shining,” “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” Manatee and Sarasota residents will soon see another side of King.
On July 12, Suncoast Communities Blood Bank will release a series of public service announcements taped by King in support of the blood bank.
On June 19, 1999, while taking a walk in his home state of Maine, King was struck by a van and sustained critical injuries. He credits blood donors with saving his life. King, who spends his winters in Sarasota County said, “In 1999 people I had never met helped save my life. Blood donors. I’m a blood donor now, and I give as often as I can at Suncoast Communities Blood Bank.”
King donated his time for the taping of the spots for television and radio. Jayne Giroux, director of communications for the blood bank, coordinated the project.
“As you would expect, King was a real pro, and a pleasure to work with. After the taping, he spent quite a bit of time autographing books for staff.
“He was very gracious and he has a great sense of humor,” said Giroux. Several staffers planned to donate their copies to the blood bank to award to a few lucky blood donors.
“When King learned of this, the next day he sent over a dozen autographed books, including some rare boxed editions signed by the illustrator as well,” said Giroux.
King’s PSAs will be released in conjunction with the blood bank’s sixth annual Boots vs. Badges campaign.
Boots vs. Badges is a friendly competition between local law enforcement and firefighters to see who can collect the most blood. The competition runs from July 12 to Aug. 2. More than 40 blood drives will be held at first responder agencies in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Anyone donating at a Boots vs. Badges blood drive will be eligible to win a hard-bound, autographed copy of one of King’s books, which include “The Shining,” “Full Dark, No Stars” and “Hearts in Atlantis.”
A complete list of official blood drives can be found at www.scbb.org or by calling (866) 97-BLOOD.