Mash Bash blood drive

Phlebotomist Israel Munez prepares to remove the needle from Doris McKelvey’s arm as she and Renee Nolen watch during the 2018 Mash Bash blood drive.

Summer is the time when area blood supplies are low — and a Carter BloodCare-sponsored event this week is once again pitting Carthage and Marshall residents in a friendly competition to help restock blood banks.

The 2019 Mash Bash blood drive will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in both Carthage and Marshall. Carthage donors can visit First Baptist Church’s activity building, 256 S. Market St., to donate blood. Marshall donors should go to the Marshall Visual Arts Building, 208 E. Burleson St., for their donation.

Belinda Murphy, with Carter BloodCare, said the Mash Bash is the biggest blood drive they have each summer, and it really gives them a needed boost.

“Summertime’s our hardest time of year, so this blood drive is extremely important to us,” Murphy said.

Carthage held a long-running winning streak in the competition, but Marshall has won the tophy the past two years. Murphy says it’s amazing that Carthage was able to win so long given Marshall’s size. Murphy and other Carthage officials hope to start a new streak this year.

“We’re going to take it back this year. We’re going to win it. We’ve already decided,” Murphy joked.

Donated blood is given to local hospitals, as well as MD Anderson, Murphy said, meaning it stays local. Those who donor blood during the Mash Bash will receive a pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a T-shirt. They’ll also have chances to win several donated door prizes.

Walk-in donors are accepted at the blood drive, but Murphy said they’re also doing online registration this year at carterbloodcare.org.

Donors are asked to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before giving blood. Carter BloodCare’s donor requirements include a minimum weight of 110 pounds, that the donor feels well and that donors present a government-issued photo ID.

Donors who are 17 or older can give blood with their consent. Donors who are 16 must have parental consent.

Reporter

Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.