Tyler Wilcox annual blood drive breaks records

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – The annual Tyler Wilcox Memorial Guns n’ Hoses Blood Drive in Pierre and Fort Pierre has been named the America’s Blood Centers’ Blood Drive of the Year for 2019.

Vitalant senior donor recruitment representative Abbie Arneson says the national recognition will officially be given March 10 during the ABC Awards of Excellence Banquet in Arlington, VA.

Tyler Wilcox passed away in 2005 at the age of 19 after a three year fight with cancer. He used over 250 units of blood during his cancer battle and wanted to do something to pay the generosity forward.

Arneson says it was a gamble to expand the blood drive from one day to three days.

While he didn’t survive to see the first annual event happen, Tyler was able to help with the planning and knew the event would be taking place.

Last year’s (2019) event collected 424 units of blood – breaking Vitalant’s record for most donations collected at one event. The previous record had been set by the 2018 Tyler Wilcox Memorial Blood Drive in Pierre and Fort Pierre which collected 420 units of blood.