MASH Blood Drive attracts big crowd - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

MASH Blood Drive attracts big crowd

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MERRILL (WAOW) -

The 20th annual MASH Blood Drive took place Thursday in Merrill, attracting hundreds to donate their blood.

For 20 years, this MASH themed blood drive, a mock from the hit medical TV show, MASH, had plenty of camouflage and attracted lots of attention.

"We're expecting over 200, last year we saw over 230 people," said Donor Recruitment Lead, Diane Beatty.

Among those is Val Slewitzke, who's been donating her time and blood to this drive for five years.

"People need the blood when they're in an accident or something and I can help potentially three people by donating my blood," said Slewitzke.

Slewitzke says she started donating at the age of 51, after her husband passed away.

"It's because my late husband donated a lot and I never did and after he passed my daughters got together and we were going to donate on his birthday and so we all donated," said Slewitzke.

And she's been doing it ever since.

"I'll be on my four gallons," she said.

The Community Blood Center has been setting up camp at Kitchenette Park in Merrill, to draw in people like Slewitzke, especially during the summer months.

"Normally during the school year we have colleges and high schools that are in so we have more donors and people are on vacation during the summer," said Beatty.

About 167 units of blood were collected, and the center needs all the donations it can get, at this time to avoid low blood count, when people need it the most. 

"Only 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood and only one in three will need blood in their lifetime," said Beatty.

Which is why you'll find Slewitzke back here every August, so she can help save a life.

"I hope that when I need blood it's there for me," said Slewitzke.

If you missed Thursday's blood drive and would like to donate blood. You can head to the Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill every Monday from noon to six.

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