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Friendly’s Teams Up with the American Red Cross to Boost the Blood Supply across the Northeast Division This July

(Wilbraham, MA – July 1, 2011) – The American Red Cross and Friendly’s Restaurants, a full-service family dining chain of 500 restaurants, are partnering to help ensure that blood is available for patients in need this July. Red Cross donors who give blood this month will enjoy happiness, one scoop at a time.

Everyone who comes in to donate blood in July at a Red Cross blood drive in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Northeastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York will receive a coupon for a free* carton of ice cream, redeemable at any participating Friendly’s restaurants.

By providing this special offer to blood donors throughout the Northeast, Friendly’s is helping to boost the community blood supply in eight states this July. The summertime tends to be a time when donations drop due to travel, planned activities, and the absence of high school and college blood drives.

“The American Red Cross is thrilled to partner with Friendly’s during July, it’s one of  the most difficult months for collecting blood,” says Donna M. Morrissey, Director of Communications, American Red Cross – Northeast Division. “The need for blood is constant and because of Friendly’s generous support, the Red Cross will be better able to provide lifesaving blood for patients in need.”

“Friendly’s is pleased to partner with the American Red Cross at a time when life-saving blood supplies are at their lowest level. Ice cream is a delicious summer treat so we believe our partnership makes perfect sense,” says Andrea McKenna, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Friendly Ice Cream Corporation.  “We are honored to partner with the American Red Cross for the month of July.”

Blood is used for patients undergoing many surgical procedures, organ transplants, trauma and chemotherapy. For some patients, such as the victim of an automobile accident, the need for blood is sudden. For others, ongoing transfusions are needed to sustain medical treatment.  To make an appointment to donate blood or to learn more call 1-800-RED CROSS or log onto redcrossblood.org.

About Friendly’s Ice Cream:
Friendly Ice Cream Corporation is a vertically integrated restaurant company serving signature sandwiches, entrees and ice cream desserts in a friendly, family environment with system-wide sales of $700 million and distribution through more than 4,000 retail locations. With a 75-year operating history, Friendly’s enjoys strong brand recognition and is currently revitalizing its restaurants and introducing new products to grow its customer base. For additional information please visit www.friendlys.com.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross has been a primary supplier of lifesaving blood products in the United States for more than 50 years. The American Red Cross Blood Services – Northeast Division must distribute approximately 3,000 units of blood each day just to meet the basic needs of area patients. To donate blood and platelets through the American Red Cross, individuals must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health.  The states of Maine, Massachusetts and New York allow those who are 16 years of age to donate blood with parental consent. For additional information regarding donor eligibility, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.