UD Sarah Rieker

DAYTON, Ohio – “Get involved!” is a common call to action at the University of Dayton. By hosting the first blood drive of the school year in coordination with the annual Greek Week festivities students are boosting their fraternities and sororities, helping save lives, and even making a child’s dream come true.

The Tuesday, Sept. 26 blood drive at the RecPlex was the first of eight Community Blood Center blood drives scheduled at UD in 2017-2018, all with volunteer support from multiple student sponsor groups.

This year Greek Week partnered with the blood drive by encouraging all fraternity and sorority chapters to earn points in the Greek Week competition by recruiting at least three donors.

The Greeks filled the donor beds during the six-hour blood drive, totaling 109 donors, 60 first-time donors and 79 donations for 120 percent of the collection goal.

“Our chapter has a bunch of people coming in,” said Sarah Rieker, a Chi Omega blood donor and president of the Panhellenic Council, which organizes Greek Week with the Interfraternity Council. “Each year we designate our philanthropy and this year all the money goes to ‘Distance 4 Dreams.’”

UD Penny War

“Distance 4 Dreams” is a U.D. student organization that helps send a local child with a life-threatening disease on a dream vacation to Disney World and other Florida theme parks. It’s a partnership with the Special Wish Foundation and Give Kids the World Village.

After donating at the blood drive students emptied their pockets for the “Penny War” fundraiser for “Distance 4 Dreams” and wrote get well wishes to young hospital patients. The winner of the dream vacation will be named in October.

“We actually had enough sign-up,” said Pi Beta Phi donor Colleen Farelli from Long Island, New York. “I was the fourth donor but I still wanted to donate for a good cause.”

“This is one of my busiest weeks, but the blood drive was the best for me,” said Theta Phi Alpha donor Anika Desloge from St. Louis, “and I don’t mind needles!”

“I think we have at least eight,”said donor Brendan Kinzler from Pittsburg, whose Phi Kappa Psi chapter is off to a strong start. “Last night was ‘Trivia Night’ and we got first!  I guess we know our trivia!”

With the blood drive completed the Greeks will concentrate on games and athletic competitions mid-week and finish Greek Week Friday with top scoring dance competition.

“We won last year,” said Alpha Phi donor Emily Bruckner, a first-time donor from Chicago. “We were leading up to it and got third in the dance and won Greek Week overall.”  But Brendan Kinzler says watch out for Phi Kappa Psi because “We have three new dance routines!”



Scouting 4 Donors Finalists

DAYTON, Ohio – There were many “golden moments” beyond the revelation of the single golden ticket at the Thursday evening “Scouting 4 Donors Summer Blood Drive” final drawing.  The golden ticket was the only path to owning the Indian Scout Sixty, and only Urbana donor Judie Dillon had a ticket to ride.  But all will remember a moment when the outcome was yet unknown, and they pictured themselves racing the Scout Sixty into the sunset.

  • Clifford Kelley from Liberty took a half-day off from work, carefully mapped out the best route to the Dayton CBC and arrived about two hours early. He had told a friend that he was going to win the Scout Sixty, and it would outshine his friend’s Honda motorcycle. “I told him we’ll race for the title, and I’ll blow that Honda off the road!” he said.  He wistfully took pictures of the Scout with his cell phone to hold on to the memory.
  • Lois Bruns from Versailles wore her “Never Forget” 15th anniversary of 9/11” donor t-shirt from last September. “This was the reason I started donating in the first place,” she said. “You called me about being a finalist on 9/11, so I thought, pretty weird!”
  • Tammy Dammeyer from Covington thought owning the Scout Sixty would serve as a reminder of her dedication to helping save lives. It’s why she is studying to become a registered nurse, and is nearly finished with her courses. “I have one week and one day left, and then I graduate in November,” she said. “This would be a great reward.”
  • Ed Khulman from Mason was the top donor in the competition with 111 donations. When he was introduced, he proudly raised his arm, revealing his red Cobain bandage, matching his red, white and blue Military Appreciation donor t-shirt. He had come early to the final drawing so he would have time to make his 112th lifetime donation.
  • Marc Gunder from Lewisburg brought his family to help celebrate the final drawing and proudly wore his “Scouting 4 Donors” t-shirt.
  • Tyler Presley from Waynesville wore his Faurecia Emissions Control logo shirt. He was proud to enter the drawing by donating at work. He was the only finalist who could say he had actually taken a test ride on a Scout Sixty. He stood apart from the crowd quietly admiring the motorcycle.
  • Judie Dillon from Urbana, smiling as she posed next to the Scout Sixty before the drawing. She seemed destined to be the winner.  Afterwards, she happily showed the lucky four leaf clover she carried with her, a gift from a co-worker who had found it that day.  It truly brought her good fortune.
  • Tammy Dammeyer, who also seemed perhaps destined to win the Scout Sixty, was the first to congratulate Judie with a hug as she sat on the Scout Sixty moments after drawing the golden ticket.
  • Judie removing her neon pink sunglasses for the first time all evening as she posed for photos on her Scout Sixty… and wiping away her tears of joy.


Urbana donor Judie Dillon

DAYTON, Ohio – Urbana donor Judie Dillon came to the “Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive” grand prize drawing Thursday, Sept. 21 at Community Blood Center with a four leaf clover in her pocket. She left with the keys to a sparkling new Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle.

Everyone who registered to donate with CBC from May 26 through Sept. 2 was automatically entered in the “Scouting for Donors” contest.  Judie entered the drawing when she registered to donate at her employee blood drive at Rittal Corporation in Urbana.  She was one of 10 computer-selected finalists invited to the final drawing for the Scout Sixty motorcycle.

Each finalist selected a sealed envelope.  They opened them simultaneously on the count of 10.  Judy’s contained the golden ticket for the grand prize winner.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen at all,” she said. “Then I saw gold.  What are the odds of that?”

The odds were fairly slim.  CBC completed the summer campaign with a total of 20,779 registrations to donate whole blood, platelets and plasma. The total included 1,604 first-time donors and 17,699 blood donations for 107 percent of the summer collection goal.

“We’re happy for Judie and grateful to all the finalists and everyone who supported the Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive,” said CBC Donor Relations Director Andrew Keelor. “Because of their dedication to helping save lives we were able to quickly overcome temporary type O shortages and never had to face an emergency appeal.”

It was Judie’s dream to win the Scout Sixty.  She rides on the back of her husband Casey’s Honda 750 and they had just traded for old Honda Rebel that doesn’t run.

“A friend of mine at work found a four leaf clover on his break and gave it me,” she said, pulling the carefully taped good luck charm from her pocket. “He said, ‘I want you to have this and I wish you good luck today.’”

Judie said she was optimistic, but didn’t want to get her hopes up. “Normally, we don’t win much,” she said. “Picking the envelope was the most difficult decision of my life.”

But one of the easiest decisions of her life was to become a blood donor.  She’s not always able to successfully donate at Rittal, but she comes to every blood drive.

“I’m a donor because my dad died of lung cancer and heart disease,” she said. “My brother died of an aneurism. I wanted to give back as much as I can. I’ve seen them suffer. This is something I can do to help.”

She removed her bright pink sunglasses and wiped away a few tears. “If it wasn’t for you holding blood drives, I wouldn’t be here with a chance to ride this bike.”


Indian Scout Sixty

DAYTON, Ohio – We will soon know the winner of the “Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive” grand prize Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle.  Ten finalists will gather for the final drawing Thursday, Sept. 21 at 5:15 p.m. at Community Blood Center, 349 South Main St., Dayton.

The 10 finalists will each select a sealed envelope. They will open their envelopes simultaneously. The celebration will then begin for the finalist whose envelope contains the golden ticket, making that donor the new owner of the Indian Scout Sixty.

CBC will webcast the drawing with a Facebook Live stream on the CBC Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/communitybldcenter.

The “Scouting for Donors” summer campaign was a success thanks to the support of area donors. Everyone who registered to donate with CBC from May 26 through Sept. 2 was entered in the drawing for the Indian Scout Sixty.  CBC completed the campaign with a total of 22,312 registrations to donate whole blood, platelets and plasma. The total included 1,811 first-time donors and 17,719 blood donations.

The computer randomly chose 10 finalists. They represented eight different counties across the 15-county CBC service area. Miami and Warren Counties each had two finalists. The others come from Preble, Champaign, Montgomery, Darke, and Butler Counties in Ohio and Union County, Indiana.


Edwin Kuhlman – Mason, OH

Tammy Dammeyer – Covington, OH

Marc Gunder – Lewisburg, OH

Judith Dillon – Urbana, OH

Clifford Kelly – Liberty, IN

Lois Bruns – Versailles, OH

James Tyler Presley – Waynesville, OH

Carla Horn – Tipp City, OH

Scott Middleton – Dayton, OH

Melissa Allen – Oxford, OH



Steve Knapke Family

VERSAILLES, Ohio – Steve Knapke is remembered as a quiet man with a strong voice for the mission of blood donations.  But his family believes the show of support by the Versailles community for the Monday, Sept. 18 blood drive in his honor might have left Steve speechless.

Steve was inspired to become a blood donor after surviving a 1988 accident caused by an impaired truck driver.  He was struck again by an impaired driver on Sept. 11, 2016, an accident that claimed his life and seriously injured his wife Lois.

The Knapke family joined forces with the annual Versailles Poultry Days Committee and Community Blood Center to host the “Steve Knapke Memorial Blood Drive at the Versailles Knights of Columbus Hall.  Donor registrations rose 20 percent to 176 donors, including 23 first-time donors.  The number of donations increased nearly 30 percent to 157.

“The people in this community are amazing,” said Lois, who has recovered from a broken back, but still suffers headaches. “I never know how to thank people for all they’ve done for us. Steve was a quiet man. He wouldn’t believe this!”

Steve was a platelet donor with 81 lifetime donations. There were also eight apheresis donations Monday in his honor.

The Knapke family hoped to continue Steve’s legacy of giving blood by encouraging others to donate. His son Doug and daughters Rachel Durham, Lisa DiRenzo and Emmy D’Antonio helped organize the blood drive.  They were surprised how quickly the word spread on social media.

“I think it affected a lot of people,” said Rachel, who like her mother Lois is a registered nurse.  “A lot of people have an emotional attachment to it.  They wanted to give blood in his name.”

“I normally do donate,” said donor Laura Wolters. “But it always has been on my radar. Lois was my school nurse at Versailles High School.”

Lois found a particularly poignant way to remember Steve.  She had several stuffed teddy bears made for their grandchildren using Steve’s blood donor t-shirts.  One went to Doug and Megan Knapke’s five-month-old son Max, a grandchild Steve never got to meet.

“This was the hardest me, that it happened to him two times,” Steve’s sister Kathy Re said about the two accidents.  They were the middle children among 11 siblings and they would often donate together.

“I’d like to see something good come out of it,” she said as she made her 76th lifetime donation in Steve’s memory. “That’s what I’m hoping.  He was a good guy. He looked after me and took care of me.”

Lois, grandson Max


Donor James McConnahea, wife Teesha

Urbana donor James McConnhea had a suggestion when he donated Sept. 15 at the Community Blood Center Springfield Donor Center.  Why not send CBC t-shirts to people in Texas and Florida who lost everything when the hurricanes hit?

Thanks to James and the Goshen Eagles Lodge, that idea is in motion.  On Monday, Sept. 18 James and his wife Teesha picked up a CBC donation of 600 t-shirts at CBC’s Dayton headquarters.

“A buddy of mine is an Eagle,” said James. The Goshen Aerie, FOE 3974 in Woodstock, Ohio has been holding raffles to raise money for hurricane relief, and putting together shipments of donated goods to send to Texas and Florida.

“They know a couple of trucking companies, and a buddy of mine goes to Texas every Saturday,” said James. “Whatever room he has on the truck, we can put stuff on there. As far as I know, he’ll make this drop with the Eagles in Houston.  They say, whatever room you have, whatever stuff you’ve got.”

James is a frequent donor at the Springfield Donor Center.  He is considered a “universal donor” because his type O negative blood can be transfused to any patient in immediate need.  CBC sent blood supplies to damaged blood centers in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and a particular need was type O blood.  James is glad to be part of a new way to help.


Andy Stewart 100 LTD

Franklin donor James “Andy” Stewart is a carpenter who takes pride in finding creative ways to save historic buildings without compromising their character.  He also believes in building a legacy of saving lives, proven by his milestone 100th lifetime donation.

Andy reached the milestone with his regular platelet donation Sept. 8 at the Dayton CBC Donor Center. It was his 13th apheresis donation of the year.  He faithfully donates platelets or plasma at least once a month, and made 17 donations in 2016.

“I first donated back when I was at Hanover College in Indiana,” he said about the beginning of his “Donor for Life” journey.  “I started up again when I got up here.”

For years Andy was a regular whole blood donor at the blood drives hosted by Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springboro.  His wife Susan volunteered as a coordinator of the church blood drives.  He has been donating platelets and plasma since 2014.

He remembers supporting the blood drives held for Emily Roberts, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 at the age of 13. Through the course of her treatment she received more than 100 units of blood and two bone marrow transplants, as well as multiple blood products during her chemotherapy.  By the age of 16 she was considered cured.

“I remember her mother started the blood drive,” said Andy.  “She survived and now she’s married and has children.”

Andy and his wife Susan have two children.  Since 1977 Andy, Susan and Andy’s brother Bruce have operated a small business called Architectural Reclamation, Inc.   They state on their website, “Our specialty is finding sensitive, responsible, creative solutions to the many problems that arise in adapting old buildings to modern uses, while preserving the unique character and craftsmanship of each historic structure.”

Over the years they have tenderly reclaimed historic homes, museums and log structures, including work with historic sites at Carillon Park.  Creative solutions include ideas like installing solar panels on restored barns.

Between giving new life to historic structures Andy will visit the Dayton Donor Center to give the gift of life. “It’s an easy way to help somebody,” he said.