FUN MAKES A COMEBACK AT ST. MICHAEL’S HALL ‘COUNTRY FUN’ BLOOD DRIVE

FORT LORAMIE, Ohio – The Country Concert is back after a year of COVID cancellations, and that meant the return of more fun at the “Country Fun Blood Drive” June 15 at St. Michael’s Hall.

The tradition returned of entering all registered donors into a drawing to win a pair of tickets to the July 8-9-10 “Country Concert ’21” music festival. There was free Ice cream in the Donor Café in the form of individually wrapped ice cream bars.

True to form, the blood drive topped 106% of collection goal with 237 whole blood registrations, including nine double red cell donations and an additional 10 platelet and five plasma donations.

“We’re all here to make a comeback,” said blood drive coordinator Jane Poeppelman. “But we weathered the storm very well. They were willing to come out and give and just take the precautions.”

It has been a head-spinning time from the COVID summer of 2020 to St. Michael’s today. There was no ticket drawing a year ago because the Country Concert was cancelled, and no open food or volunteers were allowed. Despite the restrictions, the 2020 blood drive totaled nearly 300 donors.

Eight inches of snow fell on the Feb. 16 blood drive, but more than 200 donors braved temperatures in the teens to help save the winter blood supply.

St. Michael’s hosted three blood drives in 2020 with 780 donors, only a 10% decline from 2019, and added COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma collection and plasma-only drives.

For 2021 St. Michael’s expanded to a two-month rotation schedule, and now hosts six community blood drives per year, all sponsored by the Fort Loramie American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, the Fort Loramie Community Service Club, St. Michael’s Church and the St. Michael’s Knights of St. John.

“Fort Loramie takes a lot of pride in this,” said Jane. Co-coordinator Roger Bender voiced his agreement as he handed out snacks in the Donor Café. “We had 328 donors last year,” he said. “I think people wanted to donate, they wanted come.”

“Everybody was wanting to do something to help,” said Fort Loramie donor Pam Frey.

Donors turned out, despite the COVID social distancing precautions that sometimes kept them apart.

 “One of the things we missed the most was the socializing around the canteen,” said Jane. “Absolutely,” said Roger. “It was usually a social hour.”

The three blood drives per year at St. Michael’s were not just important community events, they were the largest blood drives in Shelby County. Donors will now adjust to the new schedule of six blood drives per year.

“We’ll wait and see how it goes,” said Jane. “June is a normal blood drive for us. We’ll wait and see how an in between one does.”

“Either way is fine with me,” said Pam Frey. “The nice thing is there are more you can get to.”

St. Michael’s Hall Blood Drives

Aug. 17, 2021

Oct. 19, 2021

Dec. 21, 2021

Feb. 15, 2022

YOUNG DONORS GLAD TO BE BACK AT 12TH ANNUAL FFA GRUDGE MATCH BLOOD DRIVE

UNION CITY, Ohio – Celebrating young people and their enthusiastic support for voluntary blood donations was a focus of June 14 World Blood Donor Day. The FFA clubs at Ansonia and Mississanawa Valley High Schools put their youthful energy to work Monday by sponsoring the 12th annual FFA “Grudge Match Blood Drive in the Mississinawa High Jackson Gym.

The goal of the Grudge Match is to boost the blood supply during the summer months when there are no high school blood drives. The club with the most donor votes gets to keep the Grudge Match trophy through the school year.

Host MVHS reclaimed the trophy with a donor vote of 23 to 9. It snapped Ansonia’s two-year win streak and narrowed Ansonia’s lead in the series to 6-5-1.

The Grudge Match tradition stayed alive in the summer of 2020, despite COVID-19 restrictions on student donors and volunteers. The schools gradually returned to their routines in the 2021 spring semester, including normal proms and graduations.  The FFA students did most of their recruiting for the blood drive before the last day of classes on June 4.

“We’ve had 25 so far and that’s an achievement!” said MVHS assistant FFA advisor Gwen Bergman as donors signed in. “We’ve had more students. Generally, people in both communities like to support the Grudge Match and I think that helps.”

“We were in school every day,” said Ansonia FFA advisor Emily Williams. “We’ve had our blood drives all year and they were pretty normal.”

“I only went to school two days a week last year,” said MVHS senior FFA member Gracie Townsend. She learned carpentry hands-on at Miami Valley CTC and took academic classes online. She earned the CBC Red Cord by making her third lifetime donation at the Grudge Match.

Ansonia senior and FFA vice president Carrie Rhoades volunteered at the Grudge Match with MVHS FFA reporter A.J. Waymire and freshman Daniel Hartzell.

“It was hard to have our normal FFA events. We had to cancel a lot of stuff,” said Carrie. But she was encouraged by changes in the spring. “We wore masks and had assigned seats. No homecoming, but we did have prom.”

MVHS sophomore FFA member Aron Hunt made his first lifetime donation at the Grudge Match. “My ag teacher Mrs. Hartzell asked me to sign up, so I did!” he said.

MVHS FFA advisor and co-blood drive coordinator Carmen Hartzell set an example for her students by donating Monday. She looks forward to a more normal summer of helping students with their FFA projects, and most importantly, anticipating a full return to the Great Darke County Fair, Aug. 20-28.

“It wasn’t open to the public,” Carmen said about the COVID-19 impact on the 2020 Fair. “It was not the full fair. It had the important part. It was a junior fair last year with 4-H and FFA exhibits. But I’m a food person, and that wasn’t there! It makes you look forward to this year.”

WORLD BLOOD DONOR BLOOD DRIVE IS FRIDAY, JUNE 18 AT DAYTON CBC

DAYTON, Ohio – The call for volunteer blood donors during a challenging time continues with the World Blood Donor Blood Drive Friday, June 18 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dayton Community Blood Center, 349 S. Main St.

Everyone who registers to donate can choose a free Kings Island ticket (while supplies last) or a Kroger $10 gift card. Donors will also receive the “Blood Donors are the GOAT – Greatest of All Time” t-shirt.

Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are accepted as space allows. Schedule a donation online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.

CBC faced a severe blood shortage after the Memorial Day holiday period and struggled to average the 300 donors per day necessary to supply area hospitals. The June 11 “Cruise-In Blood Drive” at the Dayton CBC registered nearly 300 donors and helped replenish the weekend supply.

The aim of June 14 World Blood Donor Day was to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts.

CBC is continuing the call for donors with the June 18 World Blood Donor Blood Drive.

Despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, many corporate and community blood drives remain below their normal size. That has made the traditional summer challenges of vacation travel, outdoor activities, and increased emergency room usage more difficult to overcome.

CBC is recruiting new donors and new blood drive sponsors. Call (937) 461-3220 to learn how you can help.

DONORS PUT BLOOD SHORTAGE ON ICE AT BUSY ‘CRUISE-IN BLOOD DRIVE’

DAYTON, Ohio – Donors cruised through the traffic at the Dayton CBC Friday, June 10 to help put a severe blood shortage on ice. CBC thanked everyone who registered to donate at the “Cruise-In Blood Drive” with free Kona Ice, a Speedway $10 gift card, and the “Blood Donor are the GOAT” t-shirt.

The “Cruise-In” comes as CBC cruises into summer with worries about whether there will be enough gas in the tank to navigate all the challenge of the season and the post-COVID world.  After Memorial Day weekend CBC struggled to maintain supply of types O and B and to register the 300 donors per day needed to meet area hospital demands.

Corporate and many community blood drives are a long way from to returning to their pre-COVID size and frequency.  That limitation coupled with the traditional seasonal challenges of summer – vacation travel, outdoor activities, no high school blood drives and the increased usage in emergency rooms – have caused the most severe shortage since the early days of the pandemic.

CBC set a goal of 225 whole blood donors for the Cruise-In and donors responded by filling appointments, waiting area seats, and donor room beds.

“They called me and asked me if I would come,” said Kettering donor Jennifer Hale. Her son Theo Hale is one of CBC’s most loyal young donors and is the youngest member of the National Donation Hall of Fame. “I would have come anyway.”

The blood shortage comes just before June 14 World Blood Donor Day, a time to raise awareness of the global demand for blood and to thank all volunteer donors, especially those who helped health systems survive the pandemic.

A theme of the World Blood Donor Day 2021 is the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply with their idealism, enthusiasm and creativity.

Carroll High School teacher and blood drive coordinator Laura Wright waited patiently to donate Friday at the Cruise-In. As she completed her 62nd lifetime donation she talked about the hopes for returning to a “normal” school year in the fall with a full schedule of Carroll High blood drives.

“I think we had enthusiasm through the pandemic, and I think we can keep it up,” said Laura. “I think in a way the pandemic helped make people more aware of the need for blood donations.”

Huber Heights donor Dwight Hooper stood in the bright sun and enjoyed a flavored cup of Kona ice after his donation and talked about his commitment to giving blood.

“Someone donated for me when I needed it,” said Dwight, who survived a ruptured aorta. “Someone had to give blood to keep me alive. I figure if someone did that for me, I’ll do it for them.”

MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE ON JUNE 14 WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center will celebrate June 14 World Blood Donor Day during a severe blood shortage and reminds everyone how blood donations make a world of difference to patients in our community.

The aim of World Blood Donor Day is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts that are vital to national health systems.

CBC is facing its most severe blood shortage since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Usage has outpaced collections of type O blood.  Despite the easing of most COVID-19 restrictions, CBC is still struggling to average the 300 donors per day necessary to meet area hospital demands.

“This summer we can help our community continue to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic and spring back to health,” said Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services COO Diane Wilson. “Commit to giving blood each time you’re eligible. The lives we help save are proof that we are stronger together.”

CBC will host the “Summer Cruise-In Blood Drive” Friday, June 11 and the “World Blood Donor Blood Drive” Friday, June 18 at the Dayton CBC, 349 S. Main St.  There will be gift cards and the “Blood Donors are the GOAT – Greatest of All Time” t-shirt for everyone who registers to donate.

Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are accepted as space allows. CBC is also in need of new donors and new blood drive sponsors. Schedule a donation online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220 to learn how to help.

The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. Blood shortages are particularly acute in developing countries.

The World Blood Donor Day 2021 slogan is “Give blood and keep the world beating.” A special focus of this year’s campaign is the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply. They are generally full of idealism, enthusiasm and creativity.

This is especially true of high school donors in CBC’s 15-county region.  CBC saw a decline of high school blood drives during COVID-19 and they are absent now during summer break. CBC hopes for a full revival of the high school blood drive program in the fall.

BLOOD SHORTAGE RIVALS EARLY DAYS OF COVID; DONORS NEEDED FOR FRIDAY CRUISE-IN BLOOD DRIVE

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center is facing its most severe blood shortage since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Usage has outpaced collections of type O blood and CBC is struggling to average the 300 donors per day necessary to meet area hospital demands.

Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins are accepted as space allows. Schedule a donation online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220. Everyone who registers to donate will receive the “Blood Donors are the GOAT – Greatest of All Time” t-shirt.

“This shortage comes from a ‘perfect storm’ of challenges,” said CBC Donor Relations Director Tracy Morgan.  “Many corporate and community-sponsored blood drives are just not back to normal size, despite the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. The Memorial Day holiday week disrupted all blood drives.  Now summer is underway with the traditional challenges of vacation travel, outdoor activities, and increased emergency room usage.

“The current pace is unsustainable. We are asking donors to make an extra effort to give, and to encourage those who have never given to become a first-time donor.”

CBC needs a strong turnout of donors for the “Summer Cruise-In Blood Drive” Friday, June 11 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dayton CBC, 349 S. Main St.  The Kona Ice truck will be at CBC from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free tropical-flavored shaved ice and everyone who registers to donate will also receive a Speedway $10 gift card.

All registered donors get the “Blood Donors are the GOAT” t-shirt and are challenged to donate three times during the summer months and collecting all three GOAT campaign t-shirt designs.

CBC is in need of new donors and new blood drive sponsors. Call (937) 461-3220 to learn how you can help.

SHORT WALK TO BLOODMOBILE BEGAN LONG ‘DONOR FOR LIFE’ JOURNEY FOR ‘500 CLUB’ MEMBER MARK REITZ

DAYTON, Ohio – Kettering donor Mark Reitz is a retired Wright-Patt Propulsion Lab engineer and a Habitat for Humanity volunteer who leaves town only to volunteer at disaster sites. He never departs from his steady schedule of approximately 28 platelet or plasma donations per year. 

With Mark’s dedicated pace, the milestone donations come fast.  He’s now the newest member of Community Blood Center’s “500 Club.”

Mark gave platelets for his milestone 500th donation on May 24 at the Dayton CBC. He now ranks 12th among all CBC donors.

His “Donor for Life” journey began in 1981 donating whole blood aboard a CBC Bloodmobile. “I started when the mobiles started coming to the base,” said Mark. “That’s how I got started because they parked it in front of the lab. I would just walk out the door and donate.”

He had given more than 120 units of whole blood when he began donating platelets in 2000.  He has been donating platelets and plasma exclusively since 2013, reached his milestone 300th LTD milestone in 2014, and celebrated his 400th in 2017.

He retired after 36 years as a civilian engineer and devotes time to blood donations and his grandchildren. “We’re up to five now,” he said, including three girls in his daughter’s family and a boy and girl in his son’s family.

His donation scheduled remained steady throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with 28 donations in 2019, 29 donations in 2020 and 11 this year.

“I’ve been able to come down here all the time,” he said. “It hasn’t bothered me. I figured they still need the donations, so I try to be consistent.

“I haven’t had any adverse effects. I continue to do it because I know it helps a lot of people. For years I’ve had the phone calls that say your blood was used for someone. It’s nice when you know it’s going to help someone.”

FAIRBORN HIGH HOSTS FINAL BLOOD DRIVE OF A COVID SCHOOL YEAR TO FORGET, BUT WITH NO REGRETS

FAIRBORN, Ohio – Hosting high school blood drives was a challenge during the COVID academic year of 2020-2021. Remote learning and in-school restrictions cut donations with Community Blood Center in half. On May 21 Fairborn High hosted the final high school blood drive of a school year that placed a premium on every donation.

Originally scheduled in February, Fairborn’s blood drive was cancelled by winter weather and rescheduled with little time to spare before the last day of class for seniors on May 28 and the end of school June 3.

Donors and DECA club volunteers reached 100% of collection goal Friday with 49 donors, including 35 donations and 24 first-time donors.

Fairborn was the last high school to host a blood drive before the pandemic shut-down in March of 2020, and it was nearly cancelled.  Fairborn overcame a two-hour weather delay on Feb. 27, 2020 to hold the blood drive. A few days later, all scheduled high school bloods cancelled, schools went on extended spring break, then shut-down completely for the year.

Adjusting to sudden change became the playbook for negotiating the pandemic in the 2020-21 school year. At Fairborn’s Friday blood drive Decca advisor and blood drive coordinator Laura McCabe helped check-in donors in the gym, while her marketing class students sat in the bleachers and worked on a project.

“We were going to have it in February, then the weather!” said Laura. “It was bad, and we had to go remote. But we were able to have it here today, so we lucked out with that! The seniors are out next week.”

“I was a little sad, if I wasn’t able to, because I know my blood can help people,” said senior Trinity Burton, a Red Cord Honor graduate who made her fourth lifetime donation Friday. “I was really excited, so I jumped on the opportunity to do it.”

About 300 of Fairborn’s 1,000 students remain in remote learning, and Laura McCabe expected that to impact the blood drive. “We don’t feel empty,” she said, “but we missed out on some of them.”

Fairborn was one of 95 high schools that hosted 156 blood drives in the 2020-21 school year, a 28% drop from 219 drives in 2018-19, the last full academic year before the pandemic.  

The bigger impact of COVID-19 was on the size of blood drives schools managed to host. In 2020-21 high school blood drives totaled 6,434 donors, a decline of 52% from 2018-19.  Units collected fell by 52% to 4,933 and first-time donors, considered the next generation of blood donors, declined 48% to 2,885. 

Trinity summed up her senior year of COVID-19 limitations and disappointments.

“It definitely wasn’t normal, I can say that,” she said. “I wish we had gotten to do more of what we normally do, but at the same time it showed me the opportunities some people don’t have. So, I take what I can get. When life serves lemons make lemonade!”

Senior Hannah Smith made her fourth lifetime donation Friday with a sense of accomplishment. “It was definitely hard to stay motivated to get through the year,” she said. “Now that it’s over I feel better about it.”

Hannah plays violin in the school orchestra. Three concerts were cancelled because of COVID, but the orchestra salvaged one year-ending performance. “I’m an officer and had to speak at it,” she said. “I cried.”

COVID cancelled the entire Color Guard season for junior Emma Epstein, who made her first lifetime donation Friday. “I want to be a nurse, and this is interesting to me, interesting in the medical part,” she said.

Practice for next year’s Color Guard begins in June. “We hope it’s going to be a normal season,” she said.

KINGS ISLAND DAYS BLOOD DRIVE IS MAY 28-29-30 AT CBC: GIVE BLOOD, GET THRILLS, & HELP BOOST HOLIDAY BLOOD SUPPLY

DAYTON, Ohio – Donate at a time of urgent need and get your thrills for free at Kings Island. Community Blood Center will host the “Kings Island Days Blood Drive” Friday, May 28, Saturday, May 29 and special operating hours Sunday, May 30 at the Dayton CBC with a free Kings Island ticket for everyone who registers to donate.

Donors will also receive the “Blood Donors are the GOAT – Greatest of All Time” t-shirt. Appointments are required.  Schedule online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.  There is no deferment or delay in donating blood after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine.

Usage has been higher than collections for type O blood and inventory is in short supply. CBC must average 300 donors per day to supply area hospitals.

The goal of the blood drive is to prevent a blood shortage with high demand expected during the Memorial Day weekend. CBC is operating on Sunday but will be closed May 31 for Memorial Day.

The “Kings Island Days” Blood Drive is Friday, May 28 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 29 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday, May 30 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 349 South Main St.

COVID-19 continues to impact the size and frequency of many community and corporate blood drives. Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer when donations are disrupted by vacation travel and outdoor activities.

The “Blood Donors are the GOAT – Greatest of All Time” campaign encourage people to collect all three GOAT t-shirt designs by donating three times during the summer months. CBC encourages more first-time donors and more blood drive sponsors. Call (937) 461-3220 to learn how you can help.

MILESTONE NOT COMPLETE FOR MIKE RIHM UNTIL CBC STAFF SIGNS ON

DAYTON, Ohio – In early March Cambridge City donor Mike Rihm finished the night shift at Reid Health and drove from Richmond to Dayton to make his 300th lifetime donation and earn his “Donor for Life – 300LTD” jacket. He returned on May 18 with the jacket, some Sharpies, and an unusual request.

“They all take care of me,” Mike said, holding up his jacket to show additional embroidery on the front, and a special touch on the back.

“It seemed like a big blank space on the back, and I thought I’d ask everybody that takes care of me to sign.”

Mike received the jacket a few weeks after his March 5 donation.  He took it to a shop to customize it with his name embroidered above the “Donor for Life – 300 LTD” inscription, and “30 Gallons Donated” stitched below it.

As staff members took turns signing, the jacket became a chalkboard etched with silver and gold well wishes.

Mike started donating at age 18 when he joined the Cambridge City Fire Department and was a regular donor at the former Richmond CBC.  He has worked at Reid Health in maintenance for 10 years.

He began donating platelets in 2018 and averages 20 donations per year.  He likes to include at least one whole blood donation per year. He chose a whole blood donation for his 300th donation milestone because it marked his 240th whole blood donation, the equivalent of 30 gallons.

Mike is proud of his 30 gallon achievement and wanted it on his jacket. But he humbly asked CBC staff members to sign the back of the jacket with silver and gold Sharpies.

He collected his first signatures May 4 at the Reid Health monthly blood drive.  He brough the jacket to his May 18 platelet appointment to make sure the apheresis nurses and phlebotomists he’s come to know at the Dayton CBC also signed.

“Lindsey over there has been busy, but I’m waiting for her to sign!” said Mike. They know Mike is unique, and now so is his jacket.