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Red Cross wraps up successful year

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The New Richmond area gave more than 70 gallons of blood to the Red Cross this year.

In four blood drives during 2011, Red Cross staff were able to collect 565 units of blood, said Don Klein, New Richmond area coordinator for the Red Cross.

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"We met and exceeded our set goal for the year," he said.

In March, the Red Cross collected 123 units of blood, in July 145 units were collected, in September 169 units were donated and in December 128 units were collected.

"Our goal for December was 123 units and we beat that," Klein said.

One hundred twenty people were able to donate in some form or another - whether a single unit or double reds.

Jerry Kamrowski was named the high donor of the blood drive, having donated his 78th unit - roughly nine gallons of blood. He received a 3M gift box for this achievement.

Kamrowski said he has been giving blood since he was 18 and he believes it's something everyone should do.

"I'm not sure why everyone doesn't do it," he said. "Because they're scared of a needle? That's a sad excuse."

Kamrowski said a family member inspired him to start giving blood and he's been at it ever since. Although this was his 78th unit with the Red Cross, Kamrowski said he's also donated blood through other organizations.

Along with Kamrowski, 28 other people were identified as donating more than 20 units. Thirteen other people reached gallon milestones - ranging from one gallon to five gallons - in December.

Klein said the success of the blood drive had much to do with the volunteers and staff associated with the event.

Lori Stai and her group of volunteers manned the phones at First National Community Bank to set up 120 appointments before the blood drive.

"The bank donates their space and phones for that, so that's huge for us," Klein said.

Klein said the use of the space at the National Guard Armory and WITC are also key in the Red Cross' success.

Patrick and Ann Hall donated three $10 gift certificates to Table 65 to be used as door prizes at the blood drive. Don and Pat Klein prepared a meal of homemade chili, bread and cookies for the Red Cross staff and volunteers.

"The need for blood is always," Klein said. "We're always looking for volunteers and people to get involved."

To help with the next local Red Cross blood drive, contact Klein at 715-246-3935 or 612-418-1345, or by emailing dfklein@frontier net.net.

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Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
(715) 243-7767 x243
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