By Cody Harrell
Mason Times staff writer
MASON—The Mason Kiwanis and Golden K clubs hosted a Red Cross blood drive Feb. 21 and brought in a large crowd of Mason residents.
The Kiwanis and Kiwanis Golden K held the blood drive at St. James Catholic Church at 1010 S. Lansing Street. The event, held every 56 days, aims to bring together citizens from Mason in order to raise blood for the Red Cross. The Red Cross requires donors to wait 56 days between blood donations to let the body recover from each donation. The Kiwanis Club keeps this in mind when beginning planning for the next blood drive.
Kiwanis Golden K member Phyllis Montague coordinated the event with the Red Cross to promote advertising for the blood drives in Mason. According to Montague, the Red Cross and Kiwanis have teamed up to host blood drives for over 30 years in Mason and usually bring in 50-70 donors every drive. Thursday’s drive brought in 48 donors who gave 43 “good units” of blood, each unit equivalent to a pint.
“Most people give blood because they know there’s a need,” Montague said. “Anyone who can likes to give blood in this city.”
President of the Kiwanis Golden K Don Milbourne has been a member of the Kiwanis since 1988 and said the blood drive has been bringing together the community for many years beforehand. Milbourne advertises the blood drive while trying to bring new members into the Kiwanis and Golden K.
“The blood drive is a great way to bring together a community, and it always gives old friends a chance to catch up,” Milbourne said.
Montague is contacted frequently by the Red Cross to coordinate blood drives in Mason with Red Cross team supervisor Kenneth Darmer. Darmer is a Mason resident and has been supervising greater Lansing blood drives for three years from Mason.
Darmer he looks up to the older men who consistently give blood every drive and frequent donors who recruit family members and keep the blood drives going. He said that Mason is a small city with “tenacity” for giving back to the community.
“These blood drives don’t only help people, but it brings those people together,” Darmer said. “Lots of people come here just to see each other. It’s a big family.”
Darmer also hosts blood drives at local high schools and all over Mason. To attract frequent donors, the Red Cross offers sign-up sheets for the next blood drive and sends emails to past donors.
“There’s a moment in all donors lives when they give blood, and they know it’s for a good cause and a good reason,” Darmer said.