Truckee lines up to give blood after attacks | SierraSun.com

Truckee lines up to give blood after attacks

Jeff Clemetson, Sierra Sun

- Photo: Grant BartaJanan Paterson draws blood from policeman Bob Brissae at Tuesday's community blood drive at Veteran's Hall. More than 180 locals donated blood at the drive, Truckee's first since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

Citing reasons ranging from terrorist attacks to bulging veins, Truckee residents showed out in force at Tuesday’s blood drive, with almost double the amount of donors as usual.

“I donated in high school every eight weeks,” said Truckee resident Brook Russon. “But after this whole Sept. 11 thing, that’s what brought it back to my conciousness.”

Truckee resident Pete Emmet just returned from New York where he visited family, but said that his donating blood had nothing to do with terrorist attacks.

“I’m Type-O Negative and they need it all the time,” he said.

Elizabeth Ford said she is a regular blood donor because her veins “easily bulge out.”

“If you can stand to be stuck, you should (donate blood),” she said.

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Nancy Zehnle donated blood for the first time because of the bone marrow drive for Truckee resident, 4-year-old Zachary Hanham.

“I see the kids needing bone marrow and today I made a concerted effort to donate,” she said. Zehnle was one of 74 blood donors who also signed up to be on the National Marrow Donor Registry.

Kristen Graves, an RN for SMF Blood Centers, said the goal for the day was to get 115 people to donate in Truckee. Usually about 100 show up, she said.

Tuesday’s drive brought more than 180 donors, about 75 of those first time donors.

Regular blood donor Denise Drinks said she thinks the Sept. 11 attacks prompted more people to donate blood.

“Usually it’s not this crowded at all,” she said.

Local Rotary members, Safeway and local Brownie troops donated cookies and snacks for the donors to enjoy after giving a pint of themselves.

The CHP also used local donations of snacks in a fundraiser on Oct. 4 and 5 to aid families of officers that died in the attack on the World Trade Center. Local merchants, Frito Lay, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Leach and Sons all contributed to supplying lunches at the CHP Donner Pass Agricultural Inspection Station for $3. Over $5,600 was raised at the two day event.

A boot drive by the Truckee Fire District also raised thousands of dollars. The boot drive, held in the Safeway parking lot the last week of September, raised $5,444 for the families of New York firefighters who were killed on Sept 11.