By Jen Bakken
LORETTO For 20 years, Roy and Rose Spurzem have been organizing the Loretto Lions Club blood drives.
Coordinated through Memorial Blood Centers, this opportunity to donate urgently-needed blood is conducted twice each year.
Originally, Roy began helping his friend, Al Elsen, with the blood drive, and when Elsen passed away, Roy took over, and Rosie began lending a hand as well.
“It wasn’t really something we planned to do,” said Roy Spurzem. “It just sort of happened.”
The Spurzems have been married for 61 years.
“Its a wonder that she’s put up with me all these years,” laughed Roy.
They are lifelong area residents and members of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. The couple raised six children while Roy worked as a carpenter and Rosie enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom.
Though retired, Roy has always been a fan of numbers and offers help with tax preparation at the Delano Senior Center.
They look forward to spending time with their 11 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Fishing, playing cards and reading top their list of hobbies if they have time.
Time is something that organizing an event like the blood drive requires, and the Spurzems are ready to hand over the reins.
“It’s about time to quit,” said Roy. “It’s time for someone new to take over.”
Being involved with the blood drive has enabled them to meet many people and created many memories to cherish.
“During this last blood drive,” Rosie remembered. “We had a grandpa, a son, and two grandsons all donating blood at the same time, and that’s pretty neat to see.”
Memorial Blood Centers do assist with some of the details surrounding the event but the Spurzems admit the blood drive still takes a lot of time.
Though they can’t say for sure how many hours they spend on the event each year, they can tell you exactly what they do, and when they do it.
Hopefully someone will step forward to take over the Loretto Lions Club blood drive and the Spurzems are very willing to help the new organizers.
“It takes about 40 hours a year,” said Roy. “It is some work, but rewarding, too, and we work well together,”
Memorial Blood Centers in St. Paul has served thousands of patients since 1948. Blood is collected at 10 donor centers, and more than 1,500 blood drives take place throughout the metro area, greater Minnesota, and northwestern Wisconsin.
Blood is tested in advanced laboratories at Memorial Blood Centers and distributed to over 30 local hospitals.
In April, approximately 100 pints of blood were donated at the Loretto Lions Club blood drive, and their numbers increase each year.
If you would like more information, contact Memorial Blood Centers at (651) 332-7000 or visit www.mbc.org.
To become involved with the Loretto Lions Club blood drive, contact Roy and Rosie Spurzem at (763) 479-1153.