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Blood drive in memory of Charles Finley
GHIJ CCI06122014 00000
Charles Finley

Ablood drive in Dawsonville Saturday will honor the memory of Charles B. Finley, a former school teacher who touched the lives of generations of students in Dawson County.

Finley and his wife, Kathy, were critically injured two years ago in a head-on collision on Highway 53. Charles died July 4, 2012, one day short of his 65th birthday. While in the hospital, he received multiple blood transfusions.

A longtime friend, neighbor and teaching colleague, Nicky Gilleland, said 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, Gilleland said. He was a giving person.

Finley was an elementary teacher and media specialist for 42 years in Dawsonville, most of those years at Robinson Elementary School. At 6 foot 4, he towered over his students, but Gilleland describes his friend as a gentle giant.

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

In addition to teaching, Finley coached girls basketball and was an assistant boys basketball coach.

Finley also authored, Yesterday Once More, a detailed history of Dawson Countys schools, and he was a founding member and former president of the Dawson County Jaycees.

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

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will host Saturdays blood drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, 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.

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