Blood drive draws more than 100

MERRIMACK — A blood drive organized by a 9-year-old Merrimack boy last month drew more than 100 donors.

Brandon Snell, a fifth-grader at Mastricola Upper Elementary School, put together a “heroes”-themed blood drive in August after tagging along with his mother, Kerri Snell, to similar American Red Cross drives in other towns. Brandon and his parents then set out to hold one of their own at St. James United Methodist Church.

On Aug. 21, donors gave 73 pints of blood to benefit the Red Cross, Kerri Snell said.

“It was so great to see everyone support his efforts,” she said.

One surprise donor was Kevin J. Coyle, of Merrimack, chief health services technician with the U.S. Coast Guard in Boston.

Coyle learned from a previous article in The Telegraph that Brandon wants to be in the Coast Guard, so he arrived in uniform with gifts for Brandon — cap and model helicopter — and to donate blood.

“I thought it might be interesting to show up in uniform and bring a couple gifts on behalf of myself,” Coyle said. “I though he might get a kick out of it.” Kerri Snell said it was “the highlight” of the day for Brandon, who is planning to organize another blood drive next year.

— Karen Lovett