There was blood everywhere, yet there was no horrific scene. In fact, it was probably more peaceful than a caucus taking place in Iowa that same afternoon.
The only violence was the repeated suffering of a small blue ball.
Every eight weeks, the Red Cross comes to Columbia Falls in their blue lab coats. In about an hour, the blue coats transform North Valley Community Center from a big empty room into a blood collection and temporary storage center, complete with private donor interview stations.
Assisted by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls, and setup with water, juice, fruit and light snacks sponsored by the Columbia Falls branch of Glacier Bank, the Red Cross has one of their three most productive sources of donated blood in outlying Flathead towns: a small group of donors right here in Columbia Falls.
From 12:30pm to 5:15pm on the first Thursday of every other month, donors file in and out of the Community Center all afternoon. According to Sandy Mundahl, Donor Recruitment Representative for the American Red Cross in Kalispell, Columbia Falls-area donors regularly send the American Red Cross van back to Kalispell with between 25 and 35 pints of blood depending on the season.
On this Iowa caucus Thursday, 35 Columbia Falls donors contributed 32 pints of life-giving blood.
The next Red Cross blood collection in Columbia Falls will be on March 6 from 12:30pm to 5:15pm at the North Valley Community Center on Nucleus Avenue. If you’d like to get on the schedule to donate, call the Red Cross at 755-7237. Walk-ins are also welcome.
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