FORT LORAMIE, Ohio – Summer is never a fun time for blood collections, but the annual “Country Fun Blood Drive” at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie played a familiar role in helping boost the blood supply as the critical July 4th holiday period draws near.
Matching the success of previous summer blood drives at St. Michael’s didn’t come easy this year for Community Blood Center’s Kathy Pleiman, coordinator Jane Poeppelman and their team of volunteers. A late flurry of appointments helped push the total number of donors to 299, resulting in 296 whole blood donations, plus 14 platelet and plasma donations, for 99 percent of the collection goal.
“It’s right before the Fourth of July, a special time to keep the blood supply faithful and strong,” said Kathy.
St. Michael’s sets a high bar when it comes to community dedication and blood drive excellence. It is Shelby County’s biggest blood drive and the parish routinely receives the CBC Platinum award in the LifeSaving Ambassadors Club for achieving 100 percent of collection goals. The 2016 award was on display with the hay bales, cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats in the hall entrance way.
The “Country Fun Blood Drive” traditionally features a drawing for prime Country Concert tickets, plus special treats of sandwiches, cookies and ice cream in the donor Café. It’s rare for the number of donors to dip below 300, but this year’s blood drive can claim an important success.
At a time when use of type O blood continues to outpace collections, St. Michael’s donors contributed approximately 110 units of O positive and about 51 units of O negative to the blood supply.
“I was worried if we were going to able to achieve our goal given the fact that blood use has been up,” said Kathy. “We have to keep up with the demands of our local, community hospitals. People in this area tend to respond to the need and make the blood drive a success.”
“I was about to go online and make an appointment when they (CBC) called, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll to it this way!’” said Yorkshire donor Angie DeMange. Her O negative donation at St. Michael’s was her 52nd lifetime donation. Her husband Guy made his 121st
“He has way more donations than me,” said Angie. “But he’s an A positive and I’m O negative, so I always tease him by saying, ‘I’m more important because they always call me!’”
St. Michael’s loyal donors know all blood types are vital to patients and the most important blood type is always the one on the shelf in time of need. Minster donor Michelle Gayer summed up why St. Michael’s donors always answer the call. “I like to do it,” she said. “It makes me feel good.”