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EHS gridders gave all on field, at bloodmobile

Members of the Ellsworth Panthers football team donated blood during the bloodmobile’s latest visit to EHS, helping to make it a record-setting event. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

While the Panther football players from Ellsworth High School were posting playoff victories this October, most of their ranks were also contributing to a community cause.

In fact, like the grid champs they became this past season, the EHS team helped their school establish a new record for number of units given during the American Red Cross Bloodmobile’s visit there Oct. 28. A total of 150 units of blood were collected that day, matching the goal set for the event plus besting the previous record of 148 from fall a year ago.

“The Red Cross was really pleased because most area bloodmobiles haven’t been making their goals lately,” School Nurse Sharlene Kreye said Wednesday.

The local goal had been set particularly high due to the extreme need, Kreye said. Although some members of the varsity squad couldn’t donate, as they hadn’t yet reached the required minimum age, 22 players accounted for 27 of the record-breaking 150 units coming from the team (with manager and coach). Three among them giving double red cell donations explains why the football team’s total is higher than the number of its contributors.

The double red cell donation process involves whole blood being withdrawn, and separated into plasma and red blood cells, according to the school’s announcement of the new record. Then, the plasma and saline are returned to the donor. Thus, the process results in two units of red blood cells.

Jarek Ficher, Devrin Myers and Kenny Stowe were the trio of double red cell donors, the nurse said. Only those with O-positive, O-negative, B-positive and B-negative blood types are eligible for this kind of donating. Otherwise, the players who gave single units did so willingly, she said.

“Twenty-two of the 35 eligible football varsity members donated, which is 63 percent of the team,” she reported proudly.

For more please read the Dec. 11 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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