“We slowed down a little bit. Last week with our bad weather, we saw a few less people, so the snow and cold affect us,” said Tara Pfeifer, BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Events Coordinator.
Wintry weather and the height of the flu season are two of the biggest reasons why the BloodCenter calls January one of the toughest months to maintain blood supply. “We serve all the hospitals here in southeast Wisconsin, so we typically need to see 800 people a day in order to meet the demands of those hospitals,” said Pfeifer. “Now is a critical time for people to come out.”
On Monday, dozens of staff members set up 24 beds for the 12-hour blood drive. “We're hoping to see about 420 people here,” said Pfeifer.
Patrick Kirschbaum showed up for his 57th time giving blood. In fact, he's already donated about seven gallons worth. “I have a disabled son, and sometimes people like him need it. I do platelets. I do everything,” said Kirschbaum.
For Taeler Danhieux, Monday’s blood draw had special meaning. “My daughter, Harmony, passed away from SIDS a year ago today, so we came here to donate blood to help save the life of another baby,” said Danhieux.
As an added incentive, 50 donors won Super Bowl watch parties at Times Cinema in Milwaukee. One lucky donor also won a football signed by Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.
The "Super Blood Drive" runs until 7 p.m. Monday at State Fair Park's Tommy Thompson Center.