You Gotta Have Heart

It flows through the heart of one person and then it flows through the heart of a different person, most likely a stranger who is, in fact, blood related.  It’s all about the Red Cross Bloodmobile that now has a 35-year history in Victoria, all of it sponsored by the Victoria Lions.

Lion Steve Olson arrived at the Victoria Field House with other Lions the morning of Monday, January 19th, 2009, to help Red Cross Workers haul in their boxes, cases, and coolers.

The Red Cross truck had backed up to the rear door entry of the Field House for unloading, and the Lions diligently attacked the cargo.  Lion Jeff Williams, front, was among the workers. 

So were Lions Jerry Schmieg, left, and Kurt Zuppke.

Setting up chairs and tables in the huge gymnasium of the Field House was one of the chores.

You could tell that many of the Lions who showed up to work had done it before.

Victoria became a center for donating blood to the American Red Cross in 1974.  The St. Victoria Parish Center was the site of the bloodmobile for many years.

The bloodmobile moved to the Village Hall on Rose Street for a while and then came to the Field House, where it’s been held for three or four years now.

The Victoria Bloodmobile began at the suggestion of Lion Wayne Neubarth, above, who didn’t  like driving all the way to Chaska to donate blood.

Volunteer Victoria Co-Chairs are currently Kathy Sether, left, and Wendy Amundsen.  For many years the Bloodmobile was co-chaired by Susan Hines.

Said Kathy Sether, “Tell people we need more volunteers in Victoria.  We’ve got a wonderful core group but it’s beginning to dwindle.”

Continued Kathy, “Please tell people we need more callers and more assistance all around, especially young people.  It would be wonderful if we could get more young people.”

While the Lions are volunteers, the Red Cross people are paid workers.

It was explained that once blood is drawn from a person, it’s called a drug, which requires professional handling from nurses and trained technicians in order to meet all safety standards.  Above, on the right, is Red Cross Supervisor Tochina Hampton.

Gradually the gym started to get organized for the draw.  Total setup time was under two hours.

Paperwork for Wendy.

Kathy prepares the sugar and spice treats for the blood donors.

The front door of the Victoria Field House was open for the donors as they began to arrive.

Harm and Charlotte were the first donors that day.  That’s Rose Carroll and Rosie Williams working the “front desk” and getting people signed in.

Soon the chairs of the waiting area were full of prospective donors.   This went on all afternoon.

Donna (Red Cross Worker) and Steve Frankwitz of Victoria Auto Werks who has now given over 15 gallons of blood at the Memorial Blood Center in Eden Prairie.

Victoria Volunteers Elaine Scholl, left, and Ruth Kroening tend to blood donor Lion Doug Dyer of Victoria who is working on his 6th gallon.

Annmarie Biebighauser, a 10-year resident of Victoria, and Mindy, Red Cross Worker.

Donor Tom Keen, a 15-year resident of Victoria.

Pastor Frank Jones has been donating blood since he was 28 years old.

Beatrice Mechtel of Victoria, who is working toward her 8th gallon, and Lydia, Red Cross Worker.

Jamie (Red Cross Worker) and Sharon Koenen of Chanhassen who was on her way home from volunteering at the Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

Frank (Red Cross) works the Mobile Unit Assessment.  After the blood has been drawn, he gets it ready for transport.  He puts four pounds of ice in the bottom of each cooler, places approximately a dozen bags of collected blood  in the cooler, and tops it with another four pounds of ice.

Joe is also a Red Cross Worker who works the Mobile Unit Assessment.

The waiting area is full of new donors.  That’s Laurie Passe and Darlene Kelzer on the left in front.

Another turnover in the waiting area.  Hi, Pete Kerber.  There were many, many more.

Victoria Volunteer Elaine Scholl and Ann Klingelhutz of Waconia.

Donors Jeff Chapman, Doug Hines, and Darryl Schmieg get TLC from Victoria Volunteers.

Victoria Volunteers Gerda Schmieg and Angie Balius.

Lion Bruce Thalacker and Aaron, Red Cross Worker.

Chuck Schmidt of Victoria and Lydia, Red Cross Worker.

Mindy, Red Cross Worker, and Gary Sohns of Victoria.

Paul Lucas of Victoria and Lydia, Red Cross Worker.

Greg Bleck of Oakwood Terrace and Eric, Red Cross Worker.

Victoria Lion Al Orsen and Donna, Red Cross Worker.

Eric, Red Cross Worker, and Tony Vogel.  No, it was not a blood curdling cry, and although it was in vein, it was not in vain on this cold weather vane day.  Tony was just pulling a stunt for the camera and the editor loved it.

Whatta good boy.

Lion Kevin Rolf of Victoria and Victoria Volunteer Joyce Heiland

At the end of the day, the Victoria Lions helped re-load and pack and stack the Red Cross truck.  The haul from Victoria was 101 pints of blood, which exceeded the Red Cross goal for this community.  Thank you to everyone involved in the Victoria Bloodmobile.