The travel plaza collected 357 pints of blood for the American Red Cross during a five-day effort, exceeding its goal of 333 pints.
The blood drive is part of the national campaign of NATSO, the professional organization of the travel plaza and truckstop industry, in which 200 truckstops are expected to conduct blood drives this year.
"All of the American Red Cross blood utilized in the state of Montana for nearly two weeks was collected at Muralt's Travel Plaza's drive," said Tim Anderson, Red Cross Donor Service Manager. "We are fortunate to have such a committed blood drive sponsor as Muralt's Travel Plaza."
Muralt's drive attracted an untraditionally large number of first-time donors into the Red Cross's donor pool. Ninety-nine first time donors came out to give blood -- more than 25 percent of the total donors.
"Coming into the last day of the drive we were way short of our goal," said General Manager Walt Muralt, "but with a great effort and strong support from Missoula's radio and TV stations, print media, our industry neighbors, friends, family and the generous Missoula area community, we met and exceeded our goal. The Missoula area community should be proud to be responsible for the state's largest blood drive."
Industry wide, NATSO hopes to collect 5,500 units through the campaign.