Miamisburg High Unity Blood Drive


MIAMISBURG, Ohio – The season of giving is off to a very strong start at Miamisburg High School.  Students gave blood Friday, Nov. 17 at the fourth annual “Unity in the Community Blood Drive” and announced continued support for Care House, the school’s favorite charity, as recipient of the $1,000 Unity award.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Miamisburg and West Carrollton High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  Universal 1 awards $500 to each high school for holding fall blood drives. The schools combine the awards and take turns designating a charity to receive the $1,000 gift.

This year the Miamisburg Student Government continued the now four-year tradition of supporting Care House of Dayton community advocacy center for victims of abuse and neglect.  They will present the $1,000 award to Care House at the Dec. 8 Miamisburg vs. West Carrollton basketball game.

“We visit Care House and that’s been a part of it,” said Student Government advisor and blood drive coordinator Jenny Brockert. “They’re really interested in it because of the work we’ve done fundraising for it.  It really ties it all together for the younger students when they go to the basketball game and see the check presentation.  The next year they are connected with it.”

“I’ve been there three times now,” said Senior Class President Mackenzie Frantz, who volunteered with fellow Student Government members at Friday’s Unity Blood Drive, checking in students and serving refreshments in the Donor Café. “It looks like a giant playhouse. For the little kids going through tough times, it’s much more comfortable than a police station. It’s very welcoming.”

The students gave strong support to the Unity Blood Drive, totaling 159 donors, including 106 first-time donors and 124 donations for 106 percent of the collection goal.  West Carrollton High School will complete the Unity Campaign with a campus blood drive on Dec. 1.

Seniors like Morgan Espelage have been part of the Unity Campaign all through all four years of high school. “I like doing it and helping out,” she said after making her fourth lifetime blood donation.

Sophomore Darin Gridley made his first lifetime donation Friday.  The Unity Campaign is new to Darin but it fits with his decision to donate. “I felt like doing something nice for other people,” he said.

Morgan Espeleage



Ohio Donor Month Testimony

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Community Blood Center gave testimony before the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee Tuesday, Nov. 14 in support of proposed legislation to designate January as “Blood Donor Awareness Month” in Ohio.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Stephen Huffman of Miami County, chairman of the House Health Committee, emergency room physician, and life-long blood donor. Sen. Matt Huffman from District 12 is the Senate sponsor.

CBC Donor Relations Director Andrew Keelor, Ohio Association of Blood Banks board member Dr. Elizabeth Biller, and Botkins blood donor Susan Leugers all testified before the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee Tuesday as proponents of the bill.

“We really don’t realize how many lives are saved when people donate blood,” commented committee member Sen. Peggy Lehner of District 6, Montgomery County.

The bill has received bipartisan support. CBC testified in support of the bill at the Sept. 13 House Health Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Huffman where it passed by a 19-0 vote.  The House approved the bill 93-0 on Sept. 20.

”As a regular blood donor, I was proud to sponsor this legislation and it is my hope that it will increase awareness about the importance of giving blood, and encourage more donations across the state,” said Rep. Huffman, who has made 55 lifetime donations with Community Blood Center.

Susan Leugers, who has 136 lifetime blood donations, organized a Botkins blood drive in honor of her daughter Chelsea who died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 22.

“The third annual Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive will be the day after New Year’s 2018,” Susan said in her testimony. “With your support, the blood drive in Chelsea’s honor could be the first blood drive of January Blood Donor Awareness Month.”

The bill now moves to opponent testimony prior to a committee vote.




Mike Dohme with Larry

GREENVILLE, Ohio – The Darke County OSU Alumni Club was on a roll Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the 24th annual Tailgate Blood Drive. Donors rolled up their sleeves, volunteers rolled out chocolate Buckeye treats, and superfan “OSU Buckeyeman” Larry Lokai rolled into town with Buckeye necklaces and his special brand of fun.

“We’re going to learn a lot this time around,” said Alumni Club President Bill Barga, who stepped in as blood drive coordinator in place of long-time coordinator Jan Boyer who passed away in August. “But we have lots of volunteers, lots of door prizes, and lots of treats, including lots of good Buckeyes!”

Donors filled the beds in the Greenville Church of the Brethren for the Tailgate Blood Drive, totaling 126 whole blood donors and 107 donations, plus 11 platelet and plasma donors.

Greenville’s Fred Roll was the first apheresis donor of the day, donating platelets for his 247th lifetime donation. “I don’t really follow sports,” he said about the Tailgate theme. “But I rub shoulders with plenty of people who do, so I hear everything I want to hear about Ohio State!”

Almost near enough to rub shoulders with Fred was Greenville donor Mike Dohme.  He wore a scarlet OSU shirt to make his 191st lifetime donation. “I always support the Buckeyes,” said Mike. “I come every year for this.”

When Mike sat down for a chocolate Buckeye in the Donor Café he was soon shaking hands with “Buckeyeman” Larry Lokai, who crowned him with a necklace of Buckeye nuts and snapped pictures together for Facebook.

“How do you overcome being shy?” Larry quizzed Mike.  He replied, “You’ve got to talk to people, and always smile.”  Larry nodded his wild wig-covered head in approval.

Smiles came easy for Buckeye fans at the blood drive, thanks to Saturday’s blow-out win over Michigan State that helped the erase the pain of the prior week’s stunning loss to Iowa.  Larry was at both games, riding the wave of emotion.

When Ohio State plays Michigan on Nov. 23 it will mark the 20th anniversary of the first game Larry donned the wig, OSU jersey and face paint to become “Buckeyeman.”

This anniversary season has been a wave of emotion for a guy whose job is to keep everyone upbeat.  Fans felt sick about the loss to Oklahoma, but Larry was literally sick with a stomach bug. He left at halftime and spent the next four days in bed.

“I missed two games this year,” said Larry. “My dad passed away at 103 and my sister with Down syndrome at 63. They passed away within two weeks of each other.”

Larry got back in the game, but he had to make some changes. The weight of eight Buckeye necklaces (for OSU’s eight national titles) and 114 Buckeye nuts (for the number of games against Michigan) was too much for his neck.

“I’ve cut it back to 42 Buckeyes for the year I was born,” he said, “and four necklaces for all four of my children that went to Ohio State.”  For the record, Larry was the first in his family to graduate from OSU in 1967.  His granddaughter graduating in December will be the 23rd.

Larry refuses to cut-back on his superfan schedule, especially with Michigan Week coming up.

“The key thing is I try to do as many activities as I can with area OSU alumni clubs,” he said. “I belong to four clubs (including the Darke County club) and four societies, and I do as much as I can with them. If they’re in, oh, about 100-mile driving range I try to come.”

That includes squeezing in a stop at the Nov. 21 Farm Bureau Women’s Committee blood drive in Sidney, co-sponsored this year for the first time by the Shelby Co. OSU Alumni Association.

OSU Alumni Kirsten Harmon, Cathy Baker


Terry Krug 200 LTD

DAYTON, Ohio – Centerville donor Terry Krug is a retired educator and a Community Blood Center “Donor for Life.” He celebrated his milestone 200th lifetime blood donation Friday, Nov. 10 at the Dayton CBC Donor Center, but with a tinge of regret that he has not given more.

“My first 100 were whole blood donations,” said Terry.  “If I had been an apheresis donor all that time, I might be up in there with 500 or 600.”

Terry’s first donation was in 1965 when his father was fighting cancer and needed blood. “I kept going as much as I could over the years,” he said. “As soon as I got my 100th I was asked about doing apheresis. I said I was happy to do that! It means I can donate more often.”

As a platelet and plasma donor, Terry tries to donate every two weeks.  He reached his 200th milestone with his 17th donation of the year. “It feels great!” he said. “I’m ready to hit 300!”

Terry’s greatest sources of pride are helping patients with his blood donations, and recalling the students he helped during his career in education.  He retired from Northmont High School, went back to work at Twin Valley South High School and retired for good in 2010.

Terry’s specialty as an educator was a work-study program called Career-Based Intervention.  “It was for what they later would call ‘at risk’ kids,” he said. “I called them ‘survivors.’  Some of them could have been honor students, but they had trouble at home or other problems.”

He’s especially proud of a former student who started his own auto customizing business.  The young man later asked Terry to help him recruit other students who loved working on cars.  Terry laughed when he realized his former student is now approaching retirement age.

Terry and his wife Ann have two children and two grandchildren.  They still enjoy summer visits to the family cottage in Michigan.  He’s donated in Michigan over the years, but prefers the familiar surroundings of the Dayton Donor Center.  It’s where he’ll return as he continues his “Donor for Life” journey to milestone 300.


Friends Kate Wassum, Noelle Parziale

KETTERING, Ohio – Archbishop Alter High School followed rival Fairmont High with a campus blood drive Tuesday, Nov. 7 to complete their united effort to help others in the third annual “Unity in the Community” campaign.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Fairmont and Archbishop Alter High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for holding fall blood drives. The schools will combine the awards and present a $1,000 gift to charity at the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

The schools take turns designating the charity to receive the $1,000 Unity award.  This year the Fairmont Student Government has chosen Camp Kesem at The University of Cincinnati, a summer camp and peer support program for children with parents fighting cancer.

The Alter CURE club is the student sponsor organization for Alter blood drives. It was founded as a cancer research advocacy and support group for students with family members fighting cancer. “We have people in our club who have family battling different diseases,” said CURE President and blood drive volunteer Jessie Haaker.  “When it started cancer was our main cause but we also try to bring awareness to other causes.”

Last year the Alter community chose the new “Brigid’s Path” treatment facility to receive the 2016 Unity award. At the time it was still under construction.  It has since opened and is now serving babies suffering from addiction from prenatal drug exposure.

The Alter blood drive totaled 66 donors, including 40 first-time donors and 55 donations for 110 percent of goal.  For many of the new donors “family” was a theme of the day.

“Everyone in my family donates,” said first-time donor Susan Issenmann. “I’m the youngest.”

“I wanted to take part in it because my sister donated and my family does,” said 16-year-old sophomore Molly Knebel, also a first-time donor. “It seems like the right thing to do.”

“My dad always gives blood and my mom used to,” said first-time donor Emma Gehret. “I said to myself, ‘I can do that.’”

Friendship was also a valuable source of support.  Sophomore first-time donor Kate Wassum and Noelle Parziale, a senior donating for the second time, were in back-to-back beds. They reached over their heads to hold hands as they donated.

“We’ve known each other since grade school.” said Noelle. “It was good to have her nearby!” said Kate.

Molly Knebel, CBC Katelyn Feeser


Steve Dicke 100 LTD

DAYTON, Ohio – The Northmont Animal Clinic will celebrate Dr. Steve Dicke with a round of applause, plus some barks and meows, when he arrives wearing his new Community Blood Center “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket.  Steve made his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Dayton Donor Center.

“It must have been 30 years ago,” Steve said about his first donation and the beginning of his journey to 100 donations. “My wife had an illness and we thought she might need blood.”

Steve was born in Dayton, grew up in Kettering and got his degree in Animal Science at Ohio State. He and his wife Debbie moved to Englewood in 1981 and bought the Northmont Animal Clinic.  He’s been in practice for 38 years.

Their sons Nate and Kyle are both Northmont High School and OSU graduates. Kyle is an equity analyst in Chicago and Nate followed his dad into a career as a vet. He graduated from The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine and is now an associate at the Northmont Animal Clinic.

Steve’s blood type is O positive, the universal donor for Rh positive patients. He’s also a CMV-negative donor, which means no exposure to the cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative blood for children and to ensure the safety of blood transfusions to newborns.

Steve is a regular at the Dayton CBC and donates three or four times a year. “I come when I have a moment,” he said. “It feels good to contribute to the community.”


Allied Health volunteers

KETTERING, Ohio – A truly unified effort to help others was on display at the third annual Fairmont High School “Unity in the Community Blood Drive” Friday, Nov. 3 at Trent Arena.

More than 200 student donors turned out to help area hospital patients in need of blood. Health student volunteers learned about the compassion that goes into patient care. Together, their effort will be part of this year’s Unity campaign gift to help families impacted by cancer.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Fairmont and Archbishop Alter High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for holding fall blood drives. The schools will combine the awards and present a $1,000 gift to charity at the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

The schools take turns designating the charity to receive the $1,000 Unity award.  This year the Fairmont Student Government has chosen Camp Kesem at The University of Cincinnati, a summer camp and peer support program for children with parents fighting cancer.

“A lot of our graduates have volunteered there and some of the members of Student Council worked there last summer,” said Erica Rogers, assistant Activity Coordinator. “It’s perfect because $1,000 is the cost of attending the camp so we can sponsor a child.”

“I’m so proud of our decision,” said Mariah Brooks, a member of the Allied Health student sponsor group for the blood drive, and the Commissioner of Service for Student Council.

Maria was one of more than a dozen Allied Health students, taught by veteran nurse Malia Pryor, who organize and volunteer at all of the Fairmont blood drives. A key responsibility is serving students in the Donor Café and making sure they are recovering well from their donation.

“This is a lot of hands-on experience for us,” said Mariah. “It’s not just nursing. It lets us engage with the students and learn how to interact with people like in a nurse-patient relationship.”

A total of 202 students registered to donate Friday, including 91 first-time donors and 162 donations for 101 percent of the collection goal.

Fairmont began the new school years as CBC’s regional champion in student blood drive participation and donor loyalty.  Fairmont earned two $1,000 High Leadership grants for 2016-2017 for the top category of “Most Donors” and also the “Red Cord Excellence” category for the highest number of graduates who frequently supported blood drives.

Trent Arena becomes a bustling Donor Center during Fairmont blood drives with 24 donor beds assembled in the lobby.  Fairmont consistently attracts a mix of first-time and experienced donors. A perfect example came from brothers Jacob and Jimmy Hosford.

Jacob is a senior volleyball player who made his sixth lifetime donation Friday.  Younger brother Jimmy, a junior, made his first lifetime donation.

“I first donated here at school and I go in the summer too,” said Jacob.  “Me and my dad will go. He worked as an EMT and now he’s assistant chief at the Dayton Fire Department (Jacob’s dad is DFD Assistant Fire Chief Nicholas Hosford).  He would always say, ‘Come and go with me and give blood.’”

Friday it was Jacob’s turn to set an example for his brother Jimmy.  As Jimmy headed to the donor area after hearing his name called Jacob turned and said, “He’ll be fine.”  The brothers later celebrated the milestone day over juice and cookies.

Jacob and Jimmy Hosford