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Blood donors bite at chance to see movie

Sixteen-year-old Brittany Sutton and her friends stood in linefor movie tickets Tuesday, but not at the window like a lot ofother people.

Sutton and a lot of other locals were lined up in the muggy heatand occasional rain sprinkles to get tickets to the new Twilightmovie, “Eclipse,” but they had to give up their own blood to seethe popular teen vampire film that opens Wednesday.

“I put it on Facebook so everyone would know about it,” Suttonsaid.

And in spite of common stereotypes, those willing to donatetheir own lifeblood to Mississippi Blood Services for the freemovie tickets were more than just excited teenage girls.

As a matter of fact, there were very few teenage girls. Therewere actually people of all ages at the bloodmobile next to UnitedArtists Westbrook 4 Tuesday afternoon.

“I work this area a lot,” said Mississippi Blood Servicesemployee Jarekisha Griffith. “A lot of these are regular donors, Iremember their faces.”

Cinema 4 Manager Randall Smith said so far the BrookhavenTwilight fan base seems to be ready for the third movie in theseries.

“They’re very excited about it and ticket sales have beenphenomenal,” he said.

Abye Moore of Brookhaven has three teenage sons. While they didnot attend the blood drive with her, she said Twilight is aninterest shared by the whole family, though there are slightlydifferent reasons.

“My boys are all into it,” she said. “I think they like thefighting. I like the fighting and the love triangle.”

Moore said when it comes to the cultish Twilight “teams,” shefavors the pale and broody Edward Cullen over his werewolfcounterpart Jacob.

“He seems to be the good guy,” she said of Cullen.

Meanwhile, Sandie Malone of Brookhaven also gave blood for movietickets, but she said she was doing it for her 8-year-old daughterGraci, a Jacob fan.

“It’s the easiest way I know to help other people,” she said.”It doesn’t cost me anything except my time, and I’ve got plenty ofthat.”

Tabitha Johnson said she was there to give blood.

She said she started giving blood when her father had cancerseveral years ago, and has done it ever since. She’ll probably seethe movie, she said, for the science fiction aspect of it.

“I think it’s kind of a joke, though,” she said about the movieseries. “But to each his own.”

Mississippi Blood Services officials said they saw the irony ofgiving blood at a vampire movie as a draw, and decided tocapitalize on the fan base the Twilight series has cultivated.

“We’ve got recruiters for the different areas, and they thoughtit would be a good idea to set up at the movie theater because ofthe hype,” said Griffith. “Plus, in the summer we always have ablood shortage.”

In addition to movie tickets, those who gave blood and plateletswere given a T-shirt that summed it all up.

“You don’t have to choose sides to save lives,” it said.

Smith said overall, the turnout on Tuesday was positive.

“It was a big success,” he said.