BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad held its annual open house and Red Cross Blood Drive on Sunday. Each year the squad has more and more people sign up for the event, with an average of 30-35 people, last year in particular being the most successful with 41 blood donors. This year however, the squad hopes to increase that number with already 44 volunteers signed up to donate blood. The age group varies from college students up until middle aged individuals.

Linda Balling, membership Chair, has organized the Open House and Blood Drive for the past three years. She told thealternativepress.com that they did things a little different this year by adding in something new: selling flowers for their Relay for Life Team.

“We want to help raise money for our team, help tie them into the Blood Drive,” she said. The Relay for Life of Berkeley Heights takes place on Saturday June 8 at Governor Livingston High school. They are still looking for participants of all ages to create their own individual teams to donate and participate in the all night event for those who may have faced cancer or may have lost a loved one to the disease. For more information on the Berkeley Heights Relay for life go to www.relayforlife.org and search under Berkeley Heights, NJ.

The squad celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. They are strictly nonprofit, and run ondonations from the community. Balling said they are always looking for new volunteers.

The squad would like to thank the Red Cross who come out each year to help with the Blood Drive and also Rita’s of Berkeley Heights for donating free coupons to all who donated blood.