Hodag M*A*S*H* Blood Drive returns to help fill local supplySubmitted: 07/07/2015
RHINELANDER - Most of the time when you give blood it's in a clinic. But once a year in Rhinelander, organizers bring the process outside.

Tuesday, tents filled up with donors at Pioneer Park for the 6th annual "Hodag MASH Blood Drive."

More than a dozen nurses and workers with the Community Blood Center interviewed, tested and collected blood from donors.

Organizer Jerry Shidell chose the military theme as a unique way to reduce people's anxiety.  Shidell says it doesn't matter what reason you choose to give as long as you do.

"Alright, I've done my duty," Shidell said of donating.  "I've done my military duty, if you want to call it that. Today, I have donated blood. I have made it so that somebody may actually save a life."

"I was always afraid of needles, but when I lost my father we were given the chance to say goodbye to him because of the gift of blood gave us the time we needed to keep him alive for a few more days," donor Bobbie Keso-Mode said.  "And so I started donating."

About 100 people donated by the early afternoon. The drive lasted until 5 p.m.

The blood goes to Appleton for more testing, then returns to the Northwoods.

The Community Blood Center supplies all the blood for Ministry St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander.

"This blood is probably going to somebody in Rhinelander that I know," Shidell said.  "It might even come to me if I need it, so I just feel good about giving local. We've all heard about 'Buy Local'. What about give local?"

If you missed giving today, you can donate at the Trig's Mall in Rhinelander Wednesdays throughout the year.  Donors can give once every eight weeks.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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