United Blood Services has teamed up with Courtesy GMC in a campaign to drive donors to save a life. Through December, all donors will be registered to win a 2007 GMC Sierra Truck compliments of the local dealership. In addition to the truck's value, it also has many extras totalling more than $5,000, including 20-inch custom wheels and rims by Vogue Tire and Wheel Co., leather seats by Dealer Options Inc., a customer bed liner by Southern Auto Care Specialties, and a CD player by Ricky Smith Audio. "More than 4,800 pints of blood are needed each month," says Joni David, donor recruitment supervisor for UBS, which provides blood to more than 60 hospitals and medical facilities throughout south Louisiana. "Most healthy adults are eligible to give blood," adds David. "You can safely donate every eight weeks if you are at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds." Each week a key will be drawn, and all lucky finalists will try to start the ignition on Jan. 2, 2007. Schedule your blood donation appointment today online at www.bloodhero.com or call 235-LIFE. United Blood Services is located at 1503 Bertrand Drive in Lafayette.

Fertility & Women's Health Center of Louisiana, Women's & Children's Hospital, and Sheridan Healthcare announced that Laura and Terry Hughes of Lafayette, recipients of the GIFT OF HOPE 2006, will be the proud parents of twins in May 2007. The Hugheses were selected in May from more than 40 applications received from area couples seeking to be granted a free in vitro fertilization cycle in their efforts to conceive a child. Applications were reviewed by an independent committee that selected the Hugheses based upon their financial and medical needs and personal situation. The couple has been trying to conceive a child for more than five years but could not afford the high cost of in vitro fertilization. IVF is a procedure their health insurance does not cover. GIFT OF HOPE was created to ease the high costs, both financially and emotionally, of infertility treatments for one couple that demonstrates both financial and medical needs for IVF. Only a quarter of health care insurers offer coverage for infertility care; as a result, about 50 percent of American couples who fail to conceive do not seek treatment due to financial reasons. GIFT OF HOPE secured donated services to provide one couple the chance of pregnancy through in vitro fertilization. Donors include Dr. John M. Storment, a board certified reproductive endocrinologist with Fertility & Women's Health Center of Louisiana, Women's & Children's Hospital, and anesthesia providers Sheridan Healthcare. GIFT OF HOPE will be offered again in the spring 2007.

The Southwest Louisiana McDonald's Co-op recently donated $5,000 to the Susan Komen Acadiana affiliate. The local McDonald's restaurants raised money for breast cancer awareness selling special pink ribbon signs displayed in each store. Bama Pies helped out by donating a case of Apple Pies to each McDonald's; proceeds from the pie sales also were donated to Komen Acadiana.

The Ultimate Handbag Connection at 2009 Ambassador Caffery Parkway has offered to donate 15 percent of its proceeds from sales made in November to Miles Perret Cancer Services. Customers of The Ultimate Handbag Connection who wish to designate 15 percent of their purchase to MPCS must mention this upon check out. Proceeds donated to MPCS will directly help to provide support services such as wigs, oral supplements and financial assistance to families in Acadiana fighting and surviving cancer. For more information, visit www.milesperretcenter.org or call 984-1920.

Acadian Ambulance Service, which began operating in Orange County, Texas, in June of this year, has reached a tentative agreement to acquire key assets of MetroCare EMS and began operations in Jefferson County last month. As a part of the agreement, MetroCare will voluntarily cease its operations in that area. Acadian is the sole provider of emergency and non-emergency service in all of Orange County with the exception of Emergency Service District 1 in the Vidor area. Acadian began operating in Beaumont in September, offering non-emergency transport service as well as providing backup service to Beaumont EMS. Jefferson County encompasses the southeast Texas cities of Beaumont, Nederland, Groves, Port Arthur and Port Neches. Acadian plans to add eight units to its fleet to handle the additional transports. The company transports about 750 patients a day throughout Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi with its fleet of 200 ambulances, seven Air Med helicopters and three fixed-wing airplanes.

Registered nurse Cheryl Fell of Scott, a.k.a. Nurse FUNshine, was chosen one of the top five semifinalists in the state for the Volvo for Life Awards, Volvo's national search for everyday heroes. Fell was selected as a semifinalist in the "Quality of Life" category. As part of this program, Volvo contributes nearly $1 million dollars in awards and funding each year; in honor of the 5th anniversary of these nationwide awards, the company is inviting America itself to serve as one of the Volvo for Life Awards judges. Your vote could help Fell become eligible to receive up to $50,000 in funding for future Nurse FUNshine programs, which use humor as therapy for good health and stress relief, as well as a chance to attend the Volvo 5th Anniversary Awards Gala in New York City. To vote for Fell and find out how she has spread FUNshine throughout the south for the past 15 years, log onto http://www.volvoforlifeawards.com. All you have to do is type in Cheryl Fell's name or Louisiana, then check a box and click a button. You can vote (as often as you'd like) until Feb. 4, 2007. On April 4, 2007, Volvo will fly the winning heroes to New York, where they will be honored at the awards Gala by Volvo and members of the celebrity judging panel. Winners receive a $50,000 charitable contribution from Volvo; one of the three top heroes is also recognized as the winner of the Grand Award of a Volvo for life ' a lease on a new Volvo every three years for the rest of their life.

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