KETTERING, Ohio – July is American Spirit Month at Community Blood Center and there is no better mid-summer celebration of community spirit, high school teen spirt, and the high-spirited thrills of Kings Island than with the July 14 “Kettering Unity in the Community Blood Drive” at Trent Arena.
“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Alter and Fairmont High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union, with the Kettering Unity Blood Drive serving as the summer kick-off to the campaign.
In the fall Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for holding blood drive and the schools will combine the awards and present $1,000 to a charity at an Alter-Fairmont basketball game.
As an extra thanks to the community for support of the summer blood drive, everyone who registered to donate received a free ticket to Kings Island good for any day of the current season.
The result was a spirited boost to the mid-summer blood supply. The Unity blood drive totaled 157 donors, including 48 first-time donors, and 120 donations.
“My mom told me about it,” said Fairmont senior Guillermo Rached, who made his first lifetime donation Friday. “She’s a donor and she got the email.”
Anne Rose is a 2016 Alter graduate now studying early childhood education at Wright State University. Anne’s blood type is type O positive, which has been in high demand this summer. She made her seventh donation Friday. “I try to go as often as I can, even though I still have classes over the summer,” she said.
Fairmont senior Emily Ray brought along her mom and dad Carrie and Tom Ray, both first-time donors. They plan on putting their Kings Island tickets to good use. “I’m going to ride the rides, and I got him to agree to go with me,” she said, pointing to her dad Tom. “I just watch!” said her mom Carrie.
Fairmont junior Kelso Kuhnel is still just 16 years old, but made his third lifetime donation Friday. “I donated at both my school blood drives and my mom told me about this one. She’s a volunteer at the hospital.”
Rachel Holtgreive is another Alter alumnus who came out to support the blood drive. She made her sixth lifetime donation Friday. “I’m a junior at St. Louis University,” she said. “I’m studying medicine. I’m not sure yet if it will be med school, nursing or P.A.”
Lynn Jordan waited to donate with her four children, ages one through six, playing on the floor. A trip to Kings Island is in their summer plans. “We’ve had swim meets every weekend, so we wouldn’t have been able to go until now anyway!” she said.
Appointments were required for Unity blood drive. But City of Kettering staff member Jennifer Smith came to Trent Arena on her lunch hour to work out and was able to fill a spot that came open.
“I came to lift and decided to see if I could donate. I came with a friend and talked him into donating,” she said. “It’s been several years,” said her co-worker Scott Bates, “but I thought I might as well give it a try.”
Oakwood High students Mackenzie Skidmore and Mason White came to support the Kettering Unity blood drive and we’re impressed by the Fairmont-Alter campaign. “We should do this with Oakwood and Bellbrook because they’re our rivals,” said Mackenzie.