A record amount of blood was donated Thursday and Friday at the American Red Cross blood drive at Trinity Lutheran Church.

The drive collected a total of 250 pints, said Sarge Piper, who organized the event with his wife, Pat. The goal was 200 pints.

Thursday brought in a record number of people: 194. Of those, 129 were able to give. Some people left because of the long lines and others were turned away for various medical problems.

There were 21 first-time donors Thursday. The drive was scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. and the nursing staff quit collecting blood about 9:55 p.m., Sarge said.

On Friday, 121 pints were collected. About 170 people showed up to donate, Sarge said. First-time donators numbered 26. The day also went long for the staff. The drive was scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and collection stopped around 3:30 p.m.

The nursing staff went above and beyond the call, Sarge said.

He also commended the town.

It was a team effort. Everyone is to be commended, especially the residents who gave, he said.

The Pipers took over organization of the blood drive five years ago and Sarge said this is The most weve ever collected (in Brookings).

The New York terrorist attacks Sept. 11 played a role in the decision of many of the donors.

Curt Lunsford gave blood until 1980 and then stopped. The terrorist attacks prompted him to give again.

The twin towers and the need (prompted me to give), he said.

Donna Tuma hadnt given in 27 years.

My first experience (giving blood) was a bad one, she said. New York brought me out. All I can give is blood and prayers. If it isnt New York, its another city we need to stock up.

For other donors, giving blood is something theyve been doing for a long time.

Leona Friederich, 63, has been donating since she was 20.

I first started because my grandpa needed it, she said. I dont mind doing it.

Wilber Sloat has given almost 10 gallons in the nearly 50 years he has been donating.

Its something I can do to help; its easy to do, he said.

Bob Pratt has also been giving almost 50 years and is close to eight gallons.

I feel guilty if I dont (give), he said.

Janet Smith is a retired nurse and said she has been giving for many years.

I just thought it was needed. I give all the time, she said.

Darrel Bonde has been giving for about 35 years

Since I was in the service (Ive been giving). Its something people need and I feel its no problem to give it, he said.

LaDonna Morin has been donating blood for 20 years off and on. This was her third time giving blood in Brookings.

Its something you can always do, she said.

Philip Cox is almost new to the donation process. This was the second time the 30 year old has given blood.

I came in and did it when I read the need was in the yellow (range). I figured Id do my part and come in and donate, he said.

Adam Fredrickson was one of the youngest to give blood. At 17, he has reached the minimum age where he is allowed to give.

My dad was doing it so I decided to do it, he said.

The typical donation per person is one pint, which can potentially help three different people.

It is broken into pack cells, plasma and platelets, said Nurse Elaine Graves.

As at past drives, the Brookings Emblem Club provided orange juice and cookies to the donors. Rays Food Place donated the orange juice.

Several volunteers assisted with check-in procedures and leading donors to the cookies and juice table.

The American Red Cross blood mobile will next be in Brookings Jan. 17 from 2 to 7 p.m. and Jan. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sarge said he hopes people will be as generous during the January blood drive as they were during this one.

We hope they will respond in a like manner come January, he said.

For information or to make an appointment for the upcoming drive, contact Sarge and Pat Piper at (541) 469-0888.