Friendly’s Teams Up with the American Red Cross to Replenish the Blood Supply across the Northeast This July

Wilbraham, MA – July 1, 2012 - The American Red Cross and Friendly’s Restaurants, a full-service family dining chain of 378 restaurants, are partnering to help ensure that blood is available for patients in need this July. Red Cross donors who come out to give blood this month will enjoy summer’s sweet rewards courtesy of Friendly’s Ice Cream.

Everyone who comes in to donate blood in July at a Red Cross blood drive in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Northeastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York will receive a coupon for a free carton of ice cream, redeemable at any participating Friendly’s restaurants. By providing this special offer to blood donors throughout the Northeast, Friendly’s is helping to boost the community blood supply in eight states this July.

The summertime tends to be a time when donations drop due to travel, planned activities, and the absence of high school and college blood drives. The Red Cross blood supply has reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall leaves the Red Cross with half the readily available blood products on hand now than this time last year. The Red Cross is calling on all eligible blood donors – now more than ever – to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible.

“The American Red Cross is thrilled to partner with Friendly’s during July. Blood must be available at a moment’s notice when seconds count to help save or sustain a life. We have reached an emergency situation and the blood will not be there without the immediate response of volunteer blood donors,” says Donna M. Morrissey, Director of Communications, American Red Cross - Northeast Division. “The need for blood is constant and because of Friendly’s generous support, the Red Cross will be better able to provide lifesaving blood for patients in need.”

“Friendly’s is pleased to partner with the American Red Cross at a time when life-saving blood supplies are at their lowest level. Ice cream is a delicious summer treat so we believe our partnership makes perfect sense,” says Bill Black, Senior Director of Field Marketing and Media Services.

Donated blood is used to help accident victims, trauma patients, transplant recipients, and those receiving treatment for life-threatening illnesses. To make an appointment to donate blood or to learn more call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log onto redcrossblood.org.

About Friendly's Ice Cream LLC

Friendly's Ice Cream LLC is a new, vertically integrated restaurant company, with a legendary brand name, serving signature sandwiches, entrees and ice cream desserts in a friendly, family environment. Together with its broad franchisee base, the company has system-wide sales of over $550 million and distribution through over 7,500 retail locations. For over 76 years, Friendly’s restaurants and dedicated service teams have delighted generations of guests. For the future, Friendly’s has plans for new food and ice cream products and enhanced buildings.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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