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Local woman hosts Red Cross blood drive in memory of father who battled cancer: Lennox community invited to help pay it forward, July 3

Turning her father’s battle with cancer into a source of hope, Jen Stroschein of Lennox, is honoring his birthday by hosting a Red Cross blood drive. The blood drive, in memory of Wes Bolstad, will be held on July 3 (Wes’ birthday) at First English Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, 120 E 2nd Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Bolstad battled esophageal cancer and during his treatment needed multiple blood transfusions to give him the strength and resilience he needed to continue the treatment. Sadly, Bolstad died in April 2022. 

Feeling helpless in her father’s fight for life, it inspired Jen to find a way to help others by becoming a blood donor herself. 

“My dad needed many transfusions,” said Stroschein. “It wasn’t until he was on the receiving end and there was a possibility it wouldn’t be there for him that I realized how very important donating blood was.”

Stroschein hopes the community will join her and rally to pay it forward and help ensure blood is available for other patients in need of lifesaving blood products. “We always come together to support a great cause,” said Stroschein. “I don’t think the majority of people realize the need until it hits close to home.”

Blood donations often don’t keep pace with patient needs around Independence Day. “I think this is a great way to celebrate my dad’s special day while doing something good!” 

To make an appointment for the blood drive In Memory of Wes Bolstad simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or contact Jen Stroschein at 605-751-9172.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Minnesota and Dakotas Red Cross region is comprised of nine community chapters and five Blood Donation Centers, the Minnesota and Dakotas Region serves more than 7.3 million people. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. Learn more at


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