Centerville High senior Michael Markham was feeling lucky about making his first lifetime blood donation Friday, March 17 at the Elks’ St. Patrick’s Day blood drive, even if meant giving up the green.
“I wore green but I had to change because it was long-sleeved,” he said as he made his donation wearing his new Community Blood Center high school t-shirt, a bright blue but with short sleeves. “I’ll have it back on afterwards.”
Michael is a non-Irish red-head, with his ancestry from England and Scotland. As with most of the juniors and seniors who were able to support Friday’s blood drive, St. Patrick’s Day was just one of many notations on a busy spring calendar.
“Today we have probably five or six classes away competing in an off-campus activity,” said blood drive coordinator and Exercise Science teacher Maria Whitaker. “It was a little bit of an issue, but we had an alternate list we could pull from.”
The Elks came through with 121 donors, including 48 first-time donors and 97 donations for 98 percent of the collection goal.
The Bio-Tech class under Marc Carey takes the lead sponsoring Centerville’s fall blood drive and the Exercise Science class takes over for the spring blood drive. Maria relies on volunteers, including senior Grace Weir and junior Sarah Pham, to help with sign-ups, check-in, and the Donor Café.
“It feels good to help out by donating,” said junior Exercise Science student Sarah Hippenmer, who made her second lifetime donation Friday. “It’s mainly the health sciences,” she said of the Exercise Science curriculum. “It’s a little bit of everything.”
Junior Rose Thomas also made her second lifetime donation Friday. She plays soccer, studies sports medicine at CHS and is considering a possible career in physical therapy. Like many of her classmates, she didn’t worry about wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day, but she did make sure to work an appointment to donate into her schedule.
“I like helping people,” she said, “and it’s a good cause.”