KETTERING’S THEODORE HALE IS YOUNGEST NAMED TO BLOOD DONATION HALL OF FAME

DAYTON, Ohio – Twenty-year-old Kettering blood donor Theodore Hall is the youngest donor ever inducted into the Fresenius Kabi Blood Donation Hall of Fame. He will officially join the class of 2019 with an induction ceremony Friday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. at the Dayton Community Blood Center, 349 S. Main St.

For more than 20 years, Fresenius Kabi has partnered with blood centers through a nationwide program that recognizes and shares the stories of individuals who demonstrate commitment and passion for donating blood and raising awareness of the need for blood donation. Fresenius Kabi traditionally inducts 12 donors per year and features the inductees in its Blood Donation Hall of Fame calendar.

Community Blood Center nominated Theo for his enthusiasm for helping others and the unbridled spirit and optimism that has helped him overcome many challenges in his young life.

Theo was eager to begin donating when he turned 16, struggled to pass screening, but refused to give up. He has since become one of CBC’s youngest platelet donors and currently has 35 lifetime donations. His personal goal is 1,000 donations.

Theo becomes the sixth Community Blood Center donor named to the Blood Donation Hall of Fame and the fourth in the last five years. He follows Botkins donor and blood drive coordinator Susan Leugers (2017), CBC’s top donor Wendell Clark (2016), and blind donor Larry Smith (2015).

Fresenius Kabi (www.fresenius-kabi.com/us) is a global health care company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients.

SNOW, BUCKEYES & SCHOOL DAYS AT DARKE CO. OSU ALUMNI TAILGATE BLOOD DRIVE

Darke Co. OSU Alumni Club volunteers with Buckeyeman & Tress.

GREENVILLE, Ohio – An early November snowfall couldn’t stop more than 100 Buckeye-loving blood donors from turning out to tailgate with “Buckeyeman” and “Tress” at the Nov. 12 Darke County Alumni Club Tailgate Blood Drive.

It wasn’t quite “Snow Bowl” weather like the 1950 OSU-Michigan game lore. It wasn’t even Michigan Week, with just lowly Rutgers on the schedule this Saturday.  But for many, the snowy path to the Greenville Church of the Brethren began a journey back to younger days.

The Tailgate Blood Drive was also special thanks to tailgate refreshments, courtesy of the OSU Alumni Club volunteers, and “superfan” special guests “OSU Buckeyeman” Larry Lokai and “Tress” look-alike Dennis Singleton.

Buckeye boosters and casual fans alike combined to help the blood drive reach 100 percent of collection goal with 115 donors, including 97 whole blood donors and 18 platelet and plasma donors.

“It’s from people stepping up,” said OSU Alumni Club President Bill Barga, who praised a small but dedicated group of club volunteers. He said the club is still challenged to recruit new alumni, because although Darke County continues to send young people to OSU, fewer are returning home to start their careers.

“I never leave home without my buckeye,” said Greenville platelet donor and OSU fan Joe Van Vickle, as he pulled a buckeye from his pocket. “It’s an Ohio buckeye off our buckeye tree.”

Joe soon received a buckeye bonus from Larry, who awarded him one of the 40 buckeye necklaces he made for donors. “We have so many regulars here,” said Joe. “We can all connect and have a good time.”

Larry presented a buckeye necklace to Greenville donor Twila Blowers to help celebrate her 50th lifetime donation. “Does my hair look OK?” Larry asked Twila as they posed for pictures. “My beautician called off today.”  It’s a standard quip for Larry, who is famous for his wild scarlet and gray wig. “It’s fine!” said Twila.

Larry and Tress made special efforts to crown milestone donors with buckeye necklaces. “I’ve been an OSU fan since I was at Mount Vernon College, and that was many, many years ago,” said Michael Dohme as he completed his 200th lifetime donation.

The Tailgate Blood Drive was a chance for many donors to remember their college years, their first jobs, their hopes and dreams as they set out in life.

After donating Tuesday, Greenville donor Jack Alexander is now one donation away from his 200th donation milestone. For Jack, the Tailgate reminded him of first donation.

“My first job out of school was at BF Goodrich Aerospace in Troy,” said Jack. “My boss said, ‘I want to take you to lunch.’  We went somewhere in Troy and I saw all these people lying in beds. I said, ‘What are we doing here?’ He said, ‘If you give blood, you get a meal.’  The ladies had made chicken noodle soup. Every time I give blood, I think about my first boss. That’s how I got started.”

Buckeyeman Larry Lokai with Joe Remaklus, donating platelets for 101st lifetime donation.

BUCKEYEMAN LARRY LOKAI TO BRING ‘HAPPINESS BUSINESS’ TO DARKE CO. OSU ALUMNI CLUB BLOOD DRIVE

“OSU Buckeyeman” superfan Larry Lokai is loaded with Buckeyes and ready for his appearance Tuesday Nov. 12 at the 26th annual Darke County OSU Alumni Club Tailgate Blood Drive at the Greenville Church of the Brethren.

Larry is recognized by college football fans nationwide for his trademark red face paint, wild scarlet-and-gray wig, and massive mane of Buckeye necklaces.  The Urbana native is a faithful supporter of the Tailgate Blood Drive and will again be accompanied by “Tress” look-alike Dennis Singleton from Huber Heights.  

Larry plans to arrive with 40 hand-made Buckeye necklaces to award as door prizes to donors. He and Tress will be ready to pose for pictures with donors that he will quickly post to his Facebook. 

“I did a good job on your necklaces,” said Larry. Fans from across the state help him collect his annual harvest of Buckeyes. This year Larry estimates he will make about 2,000 Buckeye necklaces as gifts for fans.  He recently presented necklaces to all OSU cheerleaders and Brutus mascots at a practice at St. John’s Arena.

Another notable presentation was the special Buckeye necklace he made for Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts during a visit to the Governor’s Mansion before the OSU-Nebraska game.  The welcome for the Buckeyeman was a tribute to Huskers hospitality and good sportsmanship, considering the lopsided 48-7 win for the Buckeyes.

“The Nebraska game was probably my favorite of the year,” said Larry. “Between the necklace presentation at the Governor’s Mansion and getting to shoot the hot dog machine on the field. It shoots hotdogs 60 to 75 feet!”

Larry puts his Buckeye total at 58,000, and in his busiest year he made 3,333 necklaces. “I pick-up about 25 percent and the rest are given to me,” he said of Buckeye collecting. “This year I got over a third from a lady in Xenia.”

“I was first ever family member to earn an OSU degree and had zero scholarships,” he said of his long allegiance to OSU. The number of Lokai family members to earn OSU degrees is now at 25 with a granddaughter and grandson expected to earn their degrees in December. “These include all my nine siblings, spouses, children and grandchildren,” he said.

Our family has much to be thankful for, especially myself,” he said. “I started ‘Buckeyeman’ in November 1998 and it’s still fun. Now I am in the ‘happiness business.’  When I visit many places, people say what do you do for a living? and I reply, ‘I’m in the happiness business.’ After a few seconds they get the message and life goes on.”

BIG FOOT? BIG SURPRISE FOR ‘YETI’ WINNER JIM ROSZEL IN LIFESAVING ADVENTURE DRAWING

Jim Roszel won the grand prize YETI gear in the Lifesaving Adventure Blood Drive drawing.

DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton donor Jim Roszel suddenly has a lot more gear for family camping trips and outdoor vacations after winning the grand prize YETI Adventure Package in the Community Blood Center Lifesaving Adventure Blood Drive.

The campaign challenged donors to demonstrate their courage, commitment and compassion by donating from spring to fall. That support proved vitally important after the Memorial Day tornado outbreak and the Oregon District mass shootings.

Everyone who registered to donate from April 29 through Nov. 2 was automatically entered in the drawing to win a YETI Tundra Cooler, Base Camp chairs and 27 genuine YETI accessories. Jim was one of 42,934 donors who supported 715 mobile blood drives or visited the Dayton CBC Donation Center.

Jim works at CareSource in downtown Dayton and entered the drawing when he donated at the Aug. 28 CareSource employee blood drive. “That’s great,” he said when he learned of his good fortune. “I wasn’t aware I was even in the running, this is very nice news.”

Jim grew up in West Chester and began donating at Lakota West High School. He now donates regularly at CareSource. His company hosts six CBC blood drives per year, including three during the Lifesaving Adventure campaign. He was among 155 CareSource donors last summer.

“It seems like a good thing to do for the community and whoever needs the blood and so that was my purpose,” he said, “to give back.”

Jim looks forward to putting his YETI gear to good use. Jim and his wife like to camp, and his extended family will often rent cabins together on vacations to state and national parks.

“It will be really good to use with my family when I’m relaxing and enjoying my time off.”

But first he may have to explain that he hasn’t invited Big Foot to family gatherings. “I’m more familiar with the cryptozoological Yeti, like the abdominal snowman,” he said, “But yeah, this seems very exciting. YETI – thumbs up!”

CBC celebrate Lifesaving Adventure Blood Drive winner Jim Roszel.

DAYTON ASST. FIRE CHIEF WINS FRAN’S PINK AFGHAN

Dayton Assistant Fire Chief Nicholas Hosford.

DAYTON, Ohio – Congratulations to Dayton Fire Department Assistant Chief Nick Hosford – winner of the donor drawing for Fran Duell’s pink October Breast Cancer Awareness Month afghan!

Nick came to the Dayton Fire Department after 25 years at the Kettering Fire Department. He worked there with Brett Davenport and became a supporter of the Officer Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive in Englewood that honors Brett’s dad.

“The need for blood, it’s everything for what we do,” Nick said at the 2018 Davenport blood drive. “If there isn’t enough blood at the hospital waiting for them, they’re not going to live.”

Nick entered the afghan drawing after donating with his 20-year-old son Jacob. “Afterward we were having cookies and he asked, did you put in for the prize?” said Nick. It turned out to be a good suggestion. “Please give my thanks to Fran!” said Nick

Fran honors the sister she lost to breast cancer in 2001 with the annual tradition of creating a special pink afghan for the donor drawing. It was her sister who first inspired Fran to begin knitting afghan throw blankets to help charitable causes when she asked Fran to make an afghan for the Daybreak shelter for runaway teens.

“We recently lost a retired firefighter to cancer,” said Nick. “We have two dear friends, female Dayton firefighters who both have breast cancer. They are on leave for significant treatment and surgeries.”

Fran handcrafted a “Patriot Day Afghan” and dedicated it to “all victims, first responders, volunteers and donors if the Memorial Day tornadoes.” Fran Duell rode out the night of the tornadoes in the basement of the Maria Joseph Living Center.  The building was without electricity for the rest of the week.

PIQUA RUNS AWAY WITH RECORD TROY-PIQUA CHALLENGE BLOOD DRIVE

Piqua wins CBC/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive: (L-R) Piqua High blood drive coordinator April Watson, US Bank Piqua Branch Manager Emily Shawler, Piqua High Principal Rob Messick & US Bank Troy Branch Manager Jennifer Honeyman

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – Blood donor bragging rights are loud and proud in Piqua. The 2019 Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive was the biggest in the blood drive’s history, and Piqua won by the widest ever margin.

After six blood drives in the rival towns, the 2019 Challenge set a record with 509 donors. Piqua claimed the trophy with 285 donors compared to 224 for Troy.  It marks the fourth consecutive year the $1,000 Challenge Award will go to Piqua High School.

“We had staff donate,” said Piqua High Principal Rob Messick, who accepted the award from sponsor US Bank in an announcement ceremony before kickoff of the Troy-Piqua game at Troy Memorial Stadium. “We thought if we would do it, we would have more kids do it, if we all joined in.”

Piqua improved its overall record in the Troy-Piqua Challenge to 17-4-1. Principal Messick says it has become a tradition to use the prize money to build character.

“For us it’s the Student Incentive program,” he said. “Every year it goes directly into that account. It rewards kids for doing things right: helping a classmate out, good attendance, having good grades.

New this year, the US Banks each partnered with a nearby community blood drives on the same day to expand capacity and set the stage for a record vote total.  It was also the first Challenge to include platelet and plasma donations.

Piqua and Troy High Schools combined for 192 donors with their opening blood drives on Monday of Rival Week.  The Troy community blood drives on Wednesday at US Bank Troy and the Troy Church of the Brethren totaled 144 donors.

The Piqua community blood drives on Thursday at US Bank Piqua and Piqua Knights of St. John totaled 154 donors.  The blood drive total included 408 units donated and 121 first-time donors.

FAIRMONT HIGH BEGINS UNITY CAMPAIGN WITH HALLOWEEN BLOOD DRIVE

KETTERING, Ohio – The trick to the “Unity in the Community” blood drive on Halloween Thursday, Oct. 31 at Fairmont High School was getting students to support two great causes. The treat was in the results.

How sweet did it get? Thursday’s blood drive totaled 209 donors, including 101 first-time donors and 157 blood donations for 99 percent of the collection goal.

The blood drive also launched the 2019-2020 “Unity in the Community” Campaign, a partnership between Alter and Fairmont High Schools, CBC, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  The schools help save lives by hosting fall blood drives and improve lives in the community by choosing a charity to receive the $1,000 Unity Award.

The Firebirds and Knights are celebrating their fifth year participating in the Unity campaign.  Last year the Alter and Fairmont blood drives totaled 225 donors, including 106 first-time donors, and resulting in 184 donations. Alter’s choice for the Unity Award was Diabetes Dayton, a diabetes support organization.

Fairmont will decide the recipient of the 2019-2020 Unity Award.

“We have not yet selected the charity and will be doing so in the next few weeks,” said Student Activities Coordinator Corey Miller, who co-chairs the blood drive with assistant Activities Coordinator Erica Rogers. Allied Health and Student Activities serve as the sponsor groups for all Fairmont blood drives. Students volunteers spread the word about the blood drive and recruit donors.  They volunteer at the blood drive and care for student donors in the Donor Café.

“We were very happy with the number of students who signed up,” said Corey. “It was bigger than our last few fall drives. We’re not sure why the numbers were higher but we’re happy about it! We’re hoping for an even bigger spring drive.”

Alter will host its Unity blood drive on Nov. 14.  The charity chosen by Fairmont will receive the Universal 1 Credit Union $1,000 Unity Award during a halftime presentation at the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.