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Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS - Dozens of people rolled up their sleeves Sunday to support the victims of the Bourbon Street shooting last month.

The Organ Grinders dance troop teamed up with the New Orleans Musicians Clinic to hold the blood drive, complete with live music and food.

Folks packed the Freret Street Publiq House, not only to enjoy the Hot Eight Brass Band and dance troops, but to take a stand against violence.

'Our goal is to keep music alive, so any time we have violence in a music district you better believe we are going to have a response like this,' says New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation Managing Director Erica Dudas.

While the music was very much alive inside, outside folks rolled up their sleeves to show their support.

'We have people from the block, a tremendous amount of walk-ups and people who saw this on the news on WWL-TV Friday,' says Organ Grinders founder Christina Duggar.

The Organ Grinders partnered with the New Orleans Musicians Clinic to host the blood drive in support of the victims of last month's mass shooting on Bourbon Street.

The shooting injured nine and took the life of 21-year-old nursing student Brittany Thomas.

'It's a tragedy and this is New Orleans coming together to try and put the pieces back together,' says City Councilman Jason Williams. 'We are not going to be able to stop all crime, but a crime like this is uniquely American and uniquely New Orleans and that troubles me deeply, so we have to fix that and fix it quickly.'

'I think it's great,' says Sadie Nius, who came out to give blood. 'Everyone was, really the whole city, was rocked by what happened on Bourbon Street a few weeks ago, so it's great it's going to support those families.'

Donors like Nius are helping blood centers more than they know. There has been a huge need ever since donations dropped with the freezing temperatures seen all over the country this past winter.

'During the summer it's always a low giving point, so anytime we can boost this kind of donation, we love doing it,' says Dudas.

The goal was to collect 100 pints of blood and they surpassed that. In total 121 pints of blood were donated.

It was such a success, organizers say they hope to make this an annual event.

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