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Posted: Thursday, June 19th 2014 at 9:59am

Dawsonville blood drive to honor Charles B. Finley

By Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
DAWSONVILLE - A July 5 blood drive in Dawsonville will honor the memory of Charles B. Finley, a former teacher who touched the lives of generations of students in the town he called home for his whole life.

Finley and his wife Kathy were critically injured two years ago in a head-on collision just outside of Dawsonville, and he died on July 4, 2012, one day short of his 65th birthday. In his fight for life he received many transfusions of blood. Longtime friend, neighbor and teaching colleague Nicky Gilleland says a blood drive to help others is an appropriate way to honor the man who gave so much of himself to the community.

“I think it is something special Charles would appreciate. He was a giving person,” Gilleland said.

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will host the blood drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame/Food Lion, 59 Main St., Dawsonville. All donors will receive a T-shirt and cholesterol screening from LifeSouth and will be entered into drawings for several door prizes.

Finley was an elementary teacher and media specialist for 42 years in Dawsonville, most of those years at Robinson Elementary School. At a time when few men ventured into elementary teaching, at 6-feet-4 he towered over his students, but Gilleland describes his friend as a “gentle giant.”

“He had a way with kids. The toughest ones – he had a way of reaching them,” Gilleland said.

In addition to teaching, Finley coached girls basketball and was an assistant boys basketball coach. He was the author of “Yesterday Once More,” that told the history of schools in Dawson County, and he was a founding member and former president of the Dawson County Jaycees.

“He had a personality that just attracted people,” Gilleland said.

Donors must be at least 17, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required. Donors will be helping fight summer blood shortages that come when school is out and many regular donors are traveling. For additional information call LifeSouth in Gainesville at 770-538-0500.

Associated Categories: Local/State News

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