Hundreds Support the 22nd Annual Merrill MASH Blood Drive

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Kitchenette Park in Merrill looked a lot like a blast from your favorite hit 70's show MASH. Today, close to 300 people came out to enjoy food, drinks and of course donate some blood for the 22nd annual Merrill MASH Blood Drive.

Melissa Okrie, the mobile collections supervisor for the Community Blood Center, said, "The people that come and donate are just awesome people. They wanna give, they wanna give back."

The Community Blood Center actually hosts three separate MASH blood drives. One in Rhinelander, another one in Appleton and of course one in Merrill. They do that because the number of people who usually donate blood significantly drops during the Summer, making the demand for blood even higher.

"They're down during the summer because people go on vacation, kids are off from school, they're doing things with family," said Okrie, "So there's just people that are extremely busy during the summer time."

Courtney Pagel is an upcoming senior at Merrill High School. She started donating blood when she was just 16-years-old, and that's when she found out she has a rare blood type.

"I come out here because I get asked every eight weeks to donate, because I kind-of have a rare blood type," said Pagel, "I'm O-negative so I can give to anyone but I can only receive O-negative." Today was only Pagel's second time coming to MASH, but her eighth time donating. She said she loves giving blood because it could save a life.

"It's really rewarding because I'm just thinking to myself, if I'm in an accident and I can only receive O-negative blood... I would hope that someone would do the same for me."

Pagel said she'll continue to donate blood until she's no longer able to do so. And if you're interested in donating to the Community Blood Center, you can schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-280-4102.

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