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TUSCOLA — Monday’s blood drive at Tuscola High School was scheduled to end at 2:30 p.m. But at that time, plenty of students and community members were still ready to give.

“It’s still going strong,” said Athena LaReau, a sponsor for the event.

By the end of the day, Community Blood Services of Illinois collected 51 usable units from the event sponsored by the high school and Douglas County Rotaract. That was 11 more than the original goal and 16 more than the year before.

In the past, Tuscola held its blood drive earlier in the year. But in a the small, sports-crazed town, many of the students who wanted to donate were unable to because they were in-season.

Now, the word is out among the school’s 300 or so students.

“We talk about what an amazing thing it is, how donating blood can help three people,” LaReau said. “It’s really great — some of the upperclassmen will see underclassmen and tell them that it was a good experience for them, how it’s really not so scary.”