Bev Bartz of Sleepy Eye was recognized recently by the American Red Cross for 60 years of volunteer service in coordinating blood drives in the community.
In September 2011, Bev had been part of coordinating over 200 blood drives in Sleepy Eye.
Bev said she came to Sleepy Eye in 1951, and that next year was recruited to work as a volunteer for the blood drive. In 1967, Bev became the coordinator.
As a coordinator, Bev meets with the American Red Cross representatives to get the quota goal, discuss any changes in donation procedures and receive publicity posters. Then it is on to finding volunteers and making out schedules as well as knowing which community church is going to serve lunch to the Red Cross workers and a snack to the donors.
"There are a lot of hours involved," Bev added.
In her humble opinion she isn't the one who deserves an award, but instead all of the volunteers and donors.
"They are the real heros. They are what make it (the blood drives) successful," Bev said.
While Bev is not eligible to give a blood donation, before her husband was diagnosed with cancer, he gave nine gallons. Today her children and grandchildren are regular blood donors.
"I feel it is one of the most worthwhile donations a person can give," Bev said.
She worked as a registered nurse before retirement and she says she understands the importance of blood. After her husband was diagnosed with cancer, he was the recipient of 14 pints of blood.
Her advice to new donors is that it makes a person feel good donating because blood is a gift that can help many people.
"It's live saving and I can't think of a better donation to give," Bev added.
The next blood drive in Sleepy Eye will take place on Sept. 4 and Bev says this drive is especially important.
"Not only is there a shortage of blood across the country, but this blood drive happens to fall right after a holiday when many people travel and accidents can happen. All types of blood are important," she added.