Donors Samantha Anderson & Anthony Brannon.

Donors Samantha Anderson & Anthony Brannon.

SABINA, Ohio – It was 62 degrees with a warm sun breaking through the clouds over Sabina on Monday, Dec. 3, the day of the regular, bi-monthly Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive at the SRWW Joint Fire District. It could easily have been below freezing and snowing on the first Monday of December, but the result would have been the same: a full appointment schedule of dedicated blood donors.

Rick Clevenger was one of the first through the doors of the SRWW training room. He started his screening while his wife Donna went to help fellow volunteer Ruth Dawson with the snacks in the Donor Café, set-up in the corner kitchen area.

Rick is a proud “15 gallon” blood donor, but he notes that he was thrown off schedule when he was undergoing cancer treatment. Today will mark his third donation since becoming eligible again.

Tradition and dedication are the hallmarks of the SRWW drive. “We have been holding this drive for 10 years,” says SRWW Chief and drive chairman Chuck Gaskins. “I think we’re up to 58 drives now. We’ve held them every 56 days since the beginning.”

Chief Gaskins always likes to see everything running smoothly at the blood drives, and he is committed to good results. He was pleased to learn that 49 registered for the drive, including four first-time donors, and that with 46 donations the drive met 105 percent of goal.

Chief Gaskins was also pleased to see automated equipment included in the drive. Caleb DeWitt of Sabina is making a double red blood cell donation, his 7th lifetime donation. “I like helping people out,” Caleb said. “I’ve got O negative blood. It’s kind of rare so I share it. I have it and I’m healthy.”

A young couple, Samantha A. Anderson of Sabina and Anthony Brannon of Reeseville, represent the younger generation of donors that have stepped up to support the long-running SRWW drive. Both are taking courses at the Laurel Oaks vocational school. Samantha wants to become a dental assistant and Anthony would like to be a diesel engine mechanic.

They like the CBC “Blood Donor – Save Lives” knit scarves, though the December weather will have to become more December-like before they can use them. The CBC gift is nice, but as Samantha explains the reason they come is simple: “To save lives,” she said.

“I got a call over Thanksgiving, saying ‘you saved a life,’” she said. “That’s awesome!”


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