VANDALIA – The high school blood drive year is underway and the Butler High School Aviators are the first among Community Blood Center’s Ohio schools to roar down the runway.
Holding a blood drive on Friday, Sept. 2 was a challenge but not a problem.
“We’ve only been in school two weeks,” said Kathy Baker, coordinator of the blood drive and co-advisor of the Student Congress sponsor group.
The volunteers went to work asking area businesses to donate food and recruited enough classmates for 76 registrations to donate.
“It’s totally because of the kids,” said Kathy. “They gave up their lunch hours to recruit people. They did a great job.”
“We had two weeks,” said Student Congress President Dawson Vandervort. “We had to push it with the announcements, posters and lunch table. We had a bigger turn-out than we expected.”
It helps to have a young but dedicated donor like junior Bart Lennartz, who made his fourth lifetime donation at the blood drive.
“I’m an O-negative, and I wanted to be a member of the Four Seasons Club,” said Bart.
CBC’s Four Seasons Club honors “Universal Donors,” type O negative blood type donors like Bart, whose blood can be received by any patient. Membership in the club means making four donations in one year, and Bart has now completed the challenge. “I’ve donated now twice at school, and twice at the Community Blood Center,” he said.
The blood drive also got a big boost from first-time donors like Emma Childers. She made her first donation wearing her cheerleading uniform. She planned to take it easy when she cheered at Friday night’s football game against Tecumseh.
“Just motions, no tumbling,” she said. “I’m an organ donor too, so I feel like it’s helping somebody.”
On a nearby donor bed senior Mia Alvarado also made her first lifetime donation. “I wanted to last year and couldn’t,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to give blood. My mom does it.”
Another first at Butler’s kick-off blood drive of the new school year was the first chance for student donors to receive the new CBC high school t-shirt. It was designed by 2015 CBC/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarship winner Maya Wills from Houston High School.
Maya impressed the judges with her empathetic slogan “Share Your Life… Share Your Blood” and the originality of her artwork. Her t-shirt design features two figures connected by a single arm with the color red flowing from one to the other. It’s a rare honor for a scholarship winner’s complete design to be used for the following year’s high school t-shirt.
“I like the t-shirt. I think it’s cool,” said Student Congress volunteer Casey Petrae.
“I love it,” said fellow Student Congress member Jo Velaseo. “I love the way it shows the blood transfusion and the donation. The slogan is really nice too. I think it’s very creative.”