DAYTON, Ohio - Snowy sidewalks, temperatures in the teens and an icy wind chill of three below zero. But the first Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive of the semester was calling Tuesday at the University of Dayton RecPlex, where some young kids enjoyed their snow day off from school splashing around in the indoor pool.
UD undergraduates hosted four CBC blood drives during the fall semester and the Tuesday, Jan. 21 blood drive was the first of six on the schedule for the spring semester (the UD Law School host an additional two blood drives during the academic year).
"January is always tough," said CBC Account Representative Donna Teuscher as the blood drive slowly warmed up. "It's the day after Martin Luther King Day, and with this weather some people are calling off. But despite all that we have about 70 appointments filled."
The turn-out was even better than expected with 89 registrations, including 29 first-time donors and 65 units of blood donated.
Along with the dedication to donating at UD, Tuesday's blood drive also demonstrated the traditional support from volunteers and service organizations. Working the table at the Donor Café where students from the Sigma Iota Roh Honor Society for International Students, one of seven sponsor groups for the blood drive (including the UD Rescue Squad, Red Scare, Club Tennis, Beta Beta Beta, Gamma Epsilon Lambda and Sigma Alpha Iota).
"We're trying to build up membership and get established on campus," said senior Emilee Langenkamp from Celina. "We try to do at least one service event per month, but if something comes up we'll try to add it. Last year we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the international community. We brought in different foods and traditional American Thanksgiving dishes. Now we're trying to make it an annual event."
One of the early donors was junior Colin Marshall from the Cleveland suburb of North Royalton. He's a pre-med student and a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Fraternity who made his third lifetime donation at the blood drive. "I woke up nice and early and got a good work-out in and gave some blood," he said. "It always seems to make the blood flow go quicker when I work out before I donate."
Sophomore Olivia Max from Lexington, KY is also a pre-med student and made her first ever blood donation Tuesday. "My friend told me about it and I decided to do it," Olivia said with a big smile. "It's not bad at all!"
Sophomore Alex Goldinger from Fishers, IN made a more spontaneous decision to come to the blood drive and make his third lifetime donation. "I just got out of class and was walking by and saw the sign 'Blood Drive Today,' and decided to do that," he said.
All the UD students who registered to donate got the free CBC fleece travel blanket, a coupon for Bad Frog Frozen Yogurt, plus a chance to win frozen yogurt gift certificates. Outside, Mother Nature had put down a layer of free frozen vanilla yogurt all over campus. The cold wind was keeping nicely refrigerated. But the students didn't seem to mind. They pulledcoats over their t-shirts and arm bandages and braced themselves for the cold walk to their next class or their dorm. No one complained about an extra stop on the way to help people in need of blood transfusions. Keeping the flow going was a good way to stay warm!