It’s gonna get ugly. Nasty. Downright dirty. Tartar sauce could be thrown about.

Tartar sauce?

Hey, when a fish fry is on the line, there’s no telling what’s going to happen. But that (or maybe a barbecue dinner) is what’s being dangled as the reward for a unique blood drive-turned-competition between a local attorney and law enforcement in the area.

Next Friday, May 12, Stewart Regional Blood Center of Tyler will be in town at two locations: the law office of Jeff Weinstein, located at 518 East Tyler, or at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department, located on Edmondson Street. Each drive will run from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

“Finally, a worthy cause for sucking the blood out of you at your attorney’s office,” Weinstein quipped.

The idea is simple: Law enforcement will gather up its numbers and donate blood at the sheriff’s department, while lawyers will be doing the same — but they will give their blood at Weinstein’s office. The community is encouraged to pick a side to support, then go to the corresponding drive location (although it should be noted, Weinstein has secured the actual blood drive bus for his office, which could send cries into the air about the fix being in).

The side with the most blood donated at the end of the one-day contest will be treated to a fish fry or barbecue dinner. Weinstein seems to already be tasting that dinner, and he’s shown he’s willing to say whatever it takes to weigh the contest in his favor with statements such as, “Cops have guns, and lawyers don’t, so choose us.”

Officials from the law enforcement community have not been available for comment, but it seems that may very well be part of the strategy: lay low, then hit ’em hard when it matters.

Either way, everybody wins, and that’s what got Stewart Regional so pleased. Blood levels of various types are often considered critical, meaning there’s less than one day supply on hand at the blood bank.

“We are thankful to Mr. Weinstein for his ‘get the job done’ spirit and the good residents of the Athens area for their commitment to those who rely on blood transfusion therapy to return to full and healthy lives,” said John Drury, vice president and chief operating officer of Stewart Regional Blood Center.

For more information, contact Weinstein’s office at (903) 677-JEFF.

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e-mail jlarson@athensreview.com

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