Waycross operates the 39th largest blood drive in the United States, it was announced Thursday by Al Jacobson (second from right) who serves as both a blood drive volunteer and Exchange Club member. Journal-Herald Managing Editor Gary Griffin (second from left), said the Waycross Area Blood Drive Volunteers (WABDV) collect an average of 150 pints of blood per month at the Red Cross drives on the fourth Monday at the civic club’s Knight Avenue building. “I would like to thank you for this wonderful, big facility,” he told the membership. “Hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives have been saved” because of the Exchange Club-hosted blood drives, Griffin said. He said the American Red Cross never mentions this because of a long-standing policy. “They don’t want to come out and say that people are dying because of the blood shortage,” he said. “Why? I can only guess it is part of the politically correct madness that is ruining our free nation.” Griffin expressed gratitude that southeast Georgia largely does not abide by the politically correct tenet mandating that law enforcement is suddenly now a “bad thing.” He thanked Waycross-Ware’s law enforcement agencies for their work, declaring to applause: “We need to tell them we appreciate them every chance we get.” Part of the reason Waycross has grown to become a leading blood donation city (No. 1 in Georgia and 39th in the U.S.) is that the WABDV committee recruits corporate sponsors who donate door prizes, adding incentive for citizens to give. The sponsors of the next drive, which is Monday, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., are R.J. Welch and Son and Smoke Risin’ Barbecue. Donors at Monday’s drive will have chances to win one of 12 cash prizes (totaling $300) or one of fifteen $15 Smoke Risin’ gift certificates. Other prizes are certificates from Wong’s, Captain Joe’s, Southern Belle Salon and Spa and Extreme Carwash. Welcoming Griffin are club President Jake Strickland (left) and Ware Sheriff’s Deputy and President-elect Michael Ray (right).