'Scalise Strong' blood drive in Metairie garners 40 pints of blood_lowres

Forty pints of blood were donated yesterday at a "Scalise Strong" blood drive in Metairie, in honor of the local U.S. Congressman who was shot last week.

Local Democrats and Republicans alike turned out yesterday for a Metairie blood drive in honor of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot last week at a baseball practice in a Virginia suburb. Scalise still is hospitalized, but his condition continues to improve, according to doctors and visitors.

“I didn’t vote for him, but this shouldn’t have happened to him,” one woman said as she left the one-day "Scalise Strong" blood drive hosted by the real estate firm of Engel & Völkers in Metairie.

[jump] “We have had several donors say they were Democrats,” said Joyce Delery, sponsoring broker and co-owner of Engel & Völkers New Orleans.

Cathy Espenan, a real estate agent who organized the blood drive with The Blood Center of New Orleans, said. “This is not about politics. He was playing baseball, for God’s sake.”

Jacqueline Liberto, a Blood Center of New Orleans recruiter, said 55 people attended the “Scalise Strong” blood drive. Fifteen were screened out as ineligible; the other 40 people donated one pint each. “That’s 40 pints,” Liberto says. “Each pint can help three people.” (The eventual total was 48 pints.)

"Our biggest user [of donated blood] is Children's Hospital in New Orleans," Liberto said.