Marathon survivor Erika Brannock, a teacher from Maryland, uses a walker as she prepares to cross the finish line following a tribute in honor of the
Marathon survivor Erika Brannock, a teacher from Maryland, uses a walker as she prepares to cross the finish line following a tribute in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings Tuesday in Boston. (Charles Krupa — The Associated Press)

Doug Barrett signed a partially unrolled prayer canvas placed on a nearby table after donating blood Tuesday.

"Boston Strong from York County," wrote Barrett, co-president of the York Road Runners club.

The club and the American Red Cross worked together to host a Boston Strong Memorial Blood Drive to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon that left three people dead and injured 264 others.

Prayer canvas: The event was held at Heritage Hills Golf Resort, 2700 Mount Rose Ave. in York Township. More than 30 people were scheduled to give blood, said Steve Mavica, an American Red Cross spokesman.

Valarie Shenberger of Lower Windsor signs the Prayer Canvas honoring the Boston Marathon bombing victims after donating blood on Tuesday.
Valarie Shenberger of Lower Windsor signs the Prayer Canvas honoring the Boston Marathon bombing victims after donating blood on Tuesday. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The event also gave people from York a chance to sign a prayer canvas, a banner where donors, volunteers and others could write or paint a message of hope and unity in the colors red, white and blue.

The canvas, 6 feet wide and 18 feet long, will be added to nine other prayer canvases being signed by people around the nation, Mavica said.

The canvases will be taken to Boston, which will hold its marathon Monday.

"We just wanted to give people the opportunity to send a message of hope and healing to the people of Boston," Mavica said. "We want to show support to Boston."

'Love': Messages from blood donors included "God bless," "Be strong," and "We love you."


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Barrett said while he doesn't plan to run in the Boston Marathon this year, he is proud of the runners and spectators who will be there standing tall for the city and for America.

"They're sending the message that we didn't run, we didn't hide and we're coming back even stronger than what we were last year," he said.

—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.