Blood donor hits the 30-gallon mark

November 22, 1999

Larry MiddletonBy MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Why would someone give a pint of blood to the American Red Cross, not once, but 240 times?

"I have it and someone else needs it," was Larry Middleton's reason for donating 30 gallons of blood to the Washington County Red Cross Chapter.

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The milestone came Monday afternoon at Middleton's favorite bloodmobile at the Maugansville Ruritan Club. The event didn't escape the attention of friends and family.

Donors entering the Ruritan building saw 30 one-gallon milk jugs filled with red Kool-Aid, symbolizing Middleton's feat.

"I can't believe that much blood coming from me," Middleton said, looking at the gallon jugs.

Cookies emblazoned with "30" in red icing were on the refreshment table and red streamers and balloons were all about.

Middleton was unable to remember the first pint he gave, but said he is on a regular 56-day schedule, the length of time the Red Cross recommends between donations.


His daughter, Pat Whittier of Columbia, Md., was in Maugansville Monday for the event and shed some light on when her father made his first blood donation.

"Dad told me years ago that he was just 16 when he first donated," Whittier said. "He said his mother had to sign for him because he was too young."

Middleton said he was only sure that he started giving before he and Doris Middleton were married 54 years ago.

Whittier took pictures to e-mail to all of the grandchildren.

Born in Frostburg, Md., Middleton came to Washington County where he taught school for many years at the former South Potomac Street Elementary School and then E. Russell Hicks Middle School.

Middleton said he would encourage everyone who can to give blood. "I've never had a bad experience giving blood and there is no pain," he said.

He said he likes the friendly people at the Maugansville bloodmobile.

"I'm just hoping I've done others some good," Middleton said.

According to Teresa Elwood of the American Red Cross, Middleton's 240 pints have helped as many as 960 people over the years.

Not bad for a 78-year-old.

"I'm proud of every pint. It just feels good to help," Middleton said.

As the holidays approach, the need for blood increases at about the time donations fall off, Elwood said.

"I hope Middleton will serve as a good example that we need right now," she said Monday.

Upcoming bloodmobiles will be at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church today from 1 to 6 p.m.; The Plaza Hotel, formerly Howard Johnson, on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Brethren Mutual on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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