Handling the "Gift of Life" is a closely regulated process and the temperature blood is stored at during transportation is critical according to Jason Elson, community coordinator for the Kenai Peninsula Blood Bank. "We treat blood like gold because it is so valuable and today it can be broken down into its' three components and actually save three lives instead of just one. It's a precious cargo and ice is the only way we can make sure that cargo arrives safely," said Elson.
When Walter Holban of Aurora Refrigeration in Kenai gave Peninsula Blood Bank director Rita Wydra the bad news on their old ice machine, it was a serious blow, "We tried to repair it, but Walter told us it was beyond hope and just not worth the cost of repairing and the best thing to do was to get a new one. So the next step I took was to tell our community coordinator Jason Elson and he got the word out to the Soldotna Rotary Club and Wells Fargo Bank. Together with Aurora Refrigeration and Walter Holban who donated the installation, those three entities stepped up to the plate and today we have a new ice machine that will help us protect our blood supply," said Wydra. The total cost of the new machine was nearly $2,000.
Soldotna Rotary Club president Ed Krohn celebrates the Blood Bank's new ice machine with director Rita Wydra and Barbra Elson of Wells Fargo Bank.
Soldotna Rotary Club president Ed Krohn was getting ready to leave town when he heard about the local need. "We have such a dynamic Rotary Club here, I made a couple of quick calls to some of our officers who saw the project as another way to give back to the community, and they took the bull by the horns and teamed up with Wells Fargo to get it done and by the time I got back into town the new machine was making ice," said Krohn. "Wells Fargo was trilled to be able to contribute to such a critical community need," said Wells Fargo commercial loan banker Barbra Elson. The participating community members were all invited to the Blood Bank at the Blazy Mall in Soldotna last week for a cake cutting celebration. The Blood Bank is also in the middle of a community heart award program where local businesses are competing to see who will donate the most blood during the holidays. For details about the heart award program or to make an appointment to give the gift of life call the Blood Bank at 260-5672.
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