MASH blood drive underway in Merrill
The Community Blood Center’s annual MASH blood drive is underway at Kitchenette Park in Merrill until 5 p.m. today.
The goal for this year’s drive is to collect 200 good units of blood.
More than 200 people are scheduled to give blood today, but there is always room for walk-in donors, said Lisa Koeppen, interim marketing manager for Community Blood Center.
Local veterans groups have gotten involved with the event and help to create an authentic MASH theme in the park.
“They’ve added a lot to this,” Koeppen said. “They’ve really helped theme it up and created more of a military setting.”
The local VFW posts have a display that conjures images of the MASH TV series and military vehicles were borrowed from Island City in Merrill.
Veterans groups got involved last year, said Steve Sabatke of VFW Mar-Lin Post 10203. Along with volunteering at the event, they also mobilize their membership to come out and give blood, he added.
The MASH blood drive is the biggest summer event for Community Blood Center, which provides all of the blood for Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill.
“This is a very important summer blood drive,” Koeppen said. “While the need for blood is consistent all year, in the summer donations go down. This helps us really have that blood to carry us through.”
With scheduled appointments and walk-in donors, Koeppen said the drive is on target to reach its goal today.
“I’m really excited about how the community has turned out for this event,” she said.
Christy Wheeler of Merrill was giving blood this morning, along with her mother and grandmother. The three have been giving blood together for the past several years.
“My mom was in an accident and the blood she received on the Flight for Life saved her life,” Christy said of her family’s commitment as blood donors.
There’s still time to get down to Kitchenette Park and give blood today. For those who can’t make the MASH blood drive, Community Blood Center collects blood every Monday at Good Samaritan. For more information, call 1-800-280-4102 or visit www.communityblood.org.