Newton NHS Be The Red

PLEASANT HILL, Ohio – A year ago Newton High School graduate Aliya Stine envisioned giving blood as a common cause to bridge political discord and bond people together.  Her “Be The Red” campaign not only earned a $1,000 Community Blood Center/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarship, it inspired the CBC high school t-shirt Newton donors received at their Feb. 15 blood drive.

The CBC high school blood drive t-shirt features Aliya’s original drawing of a waving American flag with three red stripes, the others white and grey, and her message, “Without You There’s Only White and Blue – Be The Red.”

Aliya was a member of the National Honor Society, the student sponsor group for Newton blood drives.  Her t-shirt clearly met the “Lead The Way” scholarship challenge of inspiring students to donate.  The blood drive totaled 41 donors, including 18 first-time donors and 34 donations for 126 percent of the collection goal.

“We did put the t-shirt on all the posters and that Aliya designed it, and we did have a full schedule,” said NHS Advisor and blood drive coordinator Taylor Stevens.

“Everyone was aware that Aliya designed the shirt,” said NHS President Kacie Tackett. “Plus this sophomore class had a lot of people turning 16 and they really wanted to donate.”

One of those sophomore donors was NHS member Ethan Gross. “I do like it,” Ethan said about Aliya’s campaign. “I like the ‘Without you there’s only white and blue.’ We basically fill in the red. I always wanted to design a t-shirt, and I think I could design a t-shirt.”

Another sophomore making his first donation was Aliya’s brother Cameron. “She’s creative,” he said. “Like when she was running for NHS, playing sports and coming up with ideas.”

“Be The Red” held a special meaning for Carley Marple, a sophomore inspired to make her first donation at the Newton blood drive. “My dad had leukemia,” said Carley. “He passed away when I was four.”

“To everyone donating, thank you for your donation and for helping someone in need,” said Aliya, who is a Troy native majoring in biology at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. “The political aspect of the design is still a hot topic so I hope it will inspire people to talk about politics and share their opinions,”

The $5,000 Lead The Way Creative Scholarship program is supported by a grant from Vectren.  CBC and Vectren annually award $1,000 in college tuition assistance to five graduating, college-bound seniors whose high school hosts a CBC blood drive.

Applications must be postmarked by April 20. Examples of winning campaigns and the 2018 scholarship application are available at  For more information contact Cristina Pickle at



St. Valentine flowers - Kirstie Hunt

GREENVILLE, OHIO – Fresh flowers bring smiles, especially on a winter’s day. The Flower Patch joined with volunteers from Zechar Bailey Funeral Homes in wishing donors a happy St. Valentine’s Day by handing out colorful carnations at the Tuesday, Feb. 13 Zechar Bailey blood drive at the Greenville Church of the Brethren.

The free carnation for everyone who registers to donate has become a tradition at the holiday blood drive.  This year it fell on both the eve of St. Valentine’s Day and on “Fat Tuesday,” the last day of celebrations before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

“I ask for what we have in appointments, and they just keep the flower deliveries coming,” said Community Blood Center’s Dana Puterbaugh.  It was a full bouquet again this year with flowers for 105 whole blood donors and eight platelet and plasma donors, including 96 whole blood donations for 103 percent of the collection goal.

Charlene Thornhill volunteered to help hand out flowers in the Donor Café while her husband Don, a Zechar Bailey employee, donated platelets.  It was Donn’s 470th lifetime donation and he looks forward to reaching his 500th donation milestone. “That’s my goal,” said Donn. “It’s going to take me a couple of years to do it unless I really push it!”

Judy Fasnacht picked out a dark purple carnation to celebrate her 164th lifetime donation. Judy was CBC’s Darke County account representative from 1978 to 1994.  Tuesday marked her first time donating since a car accident in 2011.

“The reason I have that many is I tried to lead by example,” she said. “I did try to give apheresis when we first started doing it. I thought you can’t ask people to try it if you haven’t done it!”

It was also a happy coincidence for Judy to be able to donate on Fat Tuesday.  She pointed out that her family name Fasnacht means “night before the fast” in her husband’s native Dutch.

“My husband’s family came over to Darke County from the Pennsylvania Dutch, she said.  “They gave up donuts and sweets for the Lenten season.  The tradition was to use up all the fat and eggs to make donuts on Fasnacht.”

The flower was a nice reminder about St. Valentine’s Day for donor Kirstie Hunt, a critical care nurse at Reid Health. “I actually work tomorrow night!” she said.

Some of the men donors had wives and special friends in mind when they received their flower. “Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day,” said Jack Alexander. “I figure I’ll take it home for the wife!”

“I noticed on a Facebook memory from four years ago that I gave a flower to a friend,” said Daniel Cox, a 19-year-old student at Edison State Community College. “I got a message about the blood drive, and I thought I might just surprise her again.”


Ashlynn Yarletts Bioscience view

WEST CHESTER, Ohio – The blood drives at Butler Tech’s Bioscience Center are in the glass-walled room high atop its modern new building.  While donating on Feb. 9, students gazed at the eagles nest view of West Chester’s snow-covered hills and highways. When it comes to high school blood drives, Butler Tech always has a lofty view from the top.

Butler Tech is Community Blood Center’s most active high school blood drive sponsor and the most honored for blood drive achievement. It has won five $1,000 High School Leadership grants since the award program began in 2012.  It dominated the top category of “Most Donors” by winning it three years in a row.

Health career students moved from the Russell Lee campus to the new Bioscience Center in 2015, with each campus holding separate blood drives. That made it more difficult for Butler Tech to continue winning the “Most Donors” award, but the dedication of the student donors remains the highest among CBC’s 113 high schools.

In 2016-2017, the Russell Lee campus hosted five blood drives and placed third in the “Most Donors” category.  The Bioscience Center, with three blood drives, placed third in “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” participating in blood drives category. The Butler Tech Natural Science Center hosted three blood drives and placed fifth in the same category.

Combined with the two blood drives at the School of the Arts, Butler Tech hosted a total of 13 blood drives in 2016-2017. A total of 801 students registered to donate, including 259 first-time donors and 573 blood donations.

The Feb. 9 Bioscience Center blood drive was another success, with 99 donors, 21 first-time donors and 73 donations for 107 percent of the collection goal.

Faculty blood drive coordinator Laura Eby gave credit to her student volunteers and the example set by last year’s committee president Hannah Klaassen. Laura chose seniors Morgan Brewer and Regina Mallozzi to succeed Hannah as co-presidents of the 2017-2018 blood drive committee.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” said Morgan. Regina added, “Last year Hannah made it sound like was a lot of fun, and it really is.”


“We’re all in the health field,” said Morgan, who plans to study nursing. “It’s a good way of giving back.”

Part of the fun was designing a bright red blood drive t-shirt for all the volunteers. It includes a very anatomically accurate drawing of the human heart. “I designed it and showed it to the guy doing our t-shirts and he said, ‘Are you sure you want that heart?’” said Morgan.

Senior Haley Roos from Talawanda High School made her fifth CBC lifetime donation at Friday’s blood drive. “It’s not like I like needles,” said Haley, who plans to study nursing and anesthesiology in college. “Some people really don’t like needles, but they just don’t bother me!”

“I was kind of nervous, but it didn’t hurt that bad,” said junior Ashlynn Yarletts from Monroe High School who made her first lifetime donation Friday. She looked down from her donor bet to watch the cars far below zooming along I-75.

“It makes me feel good. I’m also an organ donor,” she said. “My mom and I talked about it. If you can help somebody that really does need it, it makes you feel good inside.”

Bioscience Blood Drive team


Aliya Stine - BTR t-shirt selfieMore congratulations to 2017 CBC/Vectren Lead The Way Scholarship winner Aliya Stine, whose winning ‘Be The Red’ campaign not only earned a $1,000 scholarship, but is also the CBC donor t-shirt for the spring semester of all high school blood drives!  The Troy native and Newton High graduate kindly sent a selfie modeling the t-shirt in her dorm room at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.  She’s a freshman majoring in biology with the goal of becoming a physician’s assistant

Aliya’s “Be The Red” theme combines patriotism and unity with the common bond of blood donations.  She drew a waving American flag with three red stripes and the others white and grey. Her slogan is “Without You There’s Only White and Blue – Be The Red.”

Her former classmates at Newton High School will get the t-shirt when they register to donate at their Feb. 15 blood drive. “I’m so excited for everyone donating to be able to receive this shirt,” she said. “It will be awesome to see people wearing it and being able to see it come to life. I hope people are inspired to not only donate blood, but they are inspired to put themselves out there and apply for this scholarship.”

Deadline to apply for the 2018 Lead The Way Scholarship is April 20.


Sisters Scarlet, Grayce Meinardi

RICHMOND, Indian – “Little Buckeyes” Scarlet and Grayce Meinardi wore matching circus party dresses to the seventh annual “Baby Tressel Day Blood Drive” Jan. 27 at Reid Health to celebrate the memory of the older brother they never knew.

Tressel’s mother Emilie Meinardi planned a circus birthday party theme in Lingle Hall with special treats and a craft table for kids.  Supporters helped the blood drive reach 129 percent of goal with 36 donors and 29 donations.

“It was a great blood drive,” said CBC Account Representative Melinda Frech. “It was a circus theme and everybody had fun. Texas Roadhouse donated peanuts and we had circus cookies.  There was a crafts cable for any kids that came. They made get well cards for children in the hospital.”

Tressel was Emilie and Scott Meinardi’s first child.  He was born premature on Jan. 20, 2010 with a heart condition.  He was seven months old when he underwent heart surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. A tragic mistake during the procedure led to his death.

The community rallied around the family, and continues to support Tressel’s memory with the blood drive. The first Community Blood Center “Baby Tressel Day” blood drive was held Feb. 15, 2012. Mayor Sally Hutton read a proclamation declaring the memorial blood drive part of Richmond’s “Day of Caring.

At Saturday’s seventh annual blood drive, Melinda, Emilie and her mother Joetta wore “Team Tressel” t-shirts from different years.

The Meinardi’s have family in Findlay, Ohio and named Tressel for former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel.  Scarlet and Grayce were named for the Buckeye colors.

Emilie gave birth to daughter Scarlet in 2011 and she too was born with a heart condition.  Her doctors at Cincinnati Children’s were the same that cared for Tressel. Grayce was born in 2014.

Family and friends gathered at Reid to help with the blood drive and donate. Friend Lola Feaselman made her milestone 90th lifetime donation, volunteer Rod Lamberson made his 50th donation and Scott Meinardi made his 20th.




John Anderson 200 LTD

Miamisburg donor John Anderson has lived in eight states, hiked more than 10,000 miles across 48 states, and given blood for most of his life. He marked his milestone 200th donation with Community Blood Center on Jan. 26 at the Dayton Donation Center.

“I’ve always been a donor,” John said. “I think it’s good for the body to make new blood.  Most important, I love donating blood at CBC.  It’s a community service helping others.”

He started donating when he was 19. “Back in the old days, when I would donate in the Air Force, they would give you half a day off.”

John was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1942 and his loyalty to the Wolverine State still runs deep.  When he chose the bandage color after his donation he said, “Any blue, as long as it’s Michigan!”

His dad was a Navy veteran who moved the family back to Michigan after the end of World War II.  From 1947 to 1951 they lived in government housing for vets called “Willow Run Village” where the rent was $21 a month.  “We had an ice box and a coal stove!” John recalled.

During the war, the village had served as housing for workers at the Ford Motor Company Willow Run aircraft manufacturing complex in Ypsilanti.  “They built 18,188 B-24 Liberator Bombers,” John said.  “It was the single most mass produced bomber of WW II.”

John finished his Air Force career in Florida, worked in the aerospace, modular housing and paper industries, and moved west to study computer science and business at Eastern New Mexico University.  All the while, he kept donating.

“I went to college at 30 years old on the GI bill,” he said. “I headed up getting blood donors for our blood drives.”

He took a job in Lubbock, Texas and ended up in the Miami Valley when the ownership changed hands. He worked for Appleton in West Carrollton for 20 years and retired in 2005.  He still sees old colleagues who were members of their CBC blood donation LifeLeaders team.

He lost his wife Mary Jean to respiratory illness in 1989. She was just 50 years old. “She got to see both our children graduate from high school,” he said.  John’s oldest grandchild graduated from the University of Dayton last year and two are at Ohio University.

Giving blood continued to be a passion for John, but he needed other ways to stay active. He found a new passion in “Volksmarching,” an organization of non-competitive fitness walking events, routes and clubs.  It started in Europe and came to the U.S. as the American Volkssport Association.

John is a member of the “Ohio Wander Freunde” club in Fairborn, the oldest AVA club in the U.S. He’s walked in more than 1,309 events in 48 states and logged 10,544 miles.  He’s traveled to South Dakota for the Crazy Horse monument walk, and joined 63,000 walkers for the annual crossing of Mackinac Bridget to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“When I started in ’93 we had 33 clubs in Ohio with thousands of people walking,” he said. “Now it’s down to eight clubs. The young people are just not interested.”

His walking may have been lifesaving.  There is a history of heart disease in his family, and he survived a heart attack four years ago in a close call.  “I did the dumbest thing, I drove myself to the hospital,” he said.  After recovering he spent about two years away from donating.

John was a regular platelet and plasma donor from 2011 to 2015. He returned to CBC in 2017, donating whole blood to reach his 200th milestone.  One particular memory illustrates why he remains a dedicated “Donor for Life.”

“When I did platelets they called and said we have a cancer patient, could you come in?” he said. “I got stuck in traffic and called to say I didn’t know if I could make it. They said, don’t worry, we’ll stay open.

“When I was finishing the donation they got a call from Michigan wanting to know if the product was on the road yet. You can’t have a better feeling than that.”


Light The Night Team Awards 2017.JPG

The top fundraising teams from the 2017 Dayton Light The Night Walk gathered for the annual awards party Jan. 24 at Scene 75 in Dayton and celebrated a break-through year in the battle against blood center.

“Tonight we celebrate your accomplishments and how it made Light The Night an incredible success,” said Tom Carleton, executive director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Tri-State Southern Ohio office.

The Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services team placed third in corporate fundraising, and the united effort behind the Dayton LTN Walk raised $367,000, an outstanding $100,000 increase over the previous year.

A total of 142 teams circled the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on the night of Oct. 5, 2017, compared to 99 teams in the 2016 Dayton LTN Walk.  There were 1,297 registered walkers and an estimated crowd of 2,500 walkers, volunteers and supporters.

Most significant about the 2017 Dayton LTN Walk success was its contribution to the flood of 18 drug treatments approved by the FDA in the last year, including the break-through CAR T-cell therapy, genetically re-programming T-cells to find and kill cancer cells.

“The CAR T-cell approval ushers in a new era of care,” said Tom Carleton. “It’s helping patients who had no options a year ago. All of you in this room should own that.”

LLS invested $40. 3 million in research nationally, including $1.15 million in local research. Many FDA approved cancer drugs emerge from LLS research leading to drugs originally approved for blood cancer. “It was an amazing year for LLS at the helm of approval of drugs for cancer,” Tom said.

Dayton Area Director Cris Peterson and Campaign Specialist Doug Thrush honored the 2017 team and individual award winners. “We’re not LA, we’re not Washington, D.C. We’re Dayton. We don’t have a lot of big companies,” said Cris. “But we raised $367,000!”

PMCI was again the top corporate fundraising team with $33,174, followed by Kettering Health Network with $30,640 and the CBC/CTS team with $28,785.

Donnie Hill, owner of PMCI and a past Dayton LTN Walk chairman, was the top individual fundraiser in the executive challenge with $12,501. Donnie was diagnosed with a chronic form of lymphoma (CLL/SLL) in 2008 and continues to undergo treatment.

“I ask everybody I know and I ask more than once,” said Donnie. “I shame a lot of people!”

The Warner family’s “Remember the Fallen – Fight the War(ner)” team was the top Friends and Family team with $16,206, followed by “Kwest for a Cure” with $14,194, “Team Ginger” with $10,973, “Rudistrong” with $9,353 and “Always Friends” with $7,054.

Cris announced the 2018 Dayton Light The Night Walk will be Oct. 18, two weeks later than the traditional date.  It will follow the Cincinnati LTN Walk instead of preceding it.   She did not announce the fundraising goal for 2018, but hinted at high expectations.

“We know in our hearts we can hit the $500,000 mark,” she said. “We grew $100,000 this year! It was by you guys. It was by adding teams to Light The Night.”