DAYTON, Ohio - The Carroll High School prom is coming up this weekend and the rainy weather Thursday, April 3 was splattering the spring sports calendar, but none of that distracted from the Patriots' spring blood drive with Community Blood Center (CBC). After all, Carroll is the school that produced two of the five winners of CBC/Vectren Lead the Way Scholarships last spring. With the April 20 deadline approaching, could Thursday's blood drive inspire another winning campaign?
"Two winners again? That would be nice!" said CHS biology teacher and blood drive coordinator Laura Wright as she took time out from working with her volunteers to donate blood. "I've been talking with my seniors and at least a couple will enter. I always worry about the blood drive. A couple of days ahead we're always down, but at the last minute we're good! I think we ended up with 108 appointments."
The Donor Café was well stocked with bagels and pizzas thanks to local sponsors. Student volunteer Jordan Kilby, a four-time donor, served juice and snacks to fellow seniors Paula Wells, Sarah Root, Erin Kelly and Anu Alexander. Jordan is headed to Wright State University next fall, and says $1,000 in Lead the Way Scholarship money "would be really good." But first she has to come up with a creative blood drive marketing plan to apply.
"I saw the ones from last year, and they were really good," she said, remembering the Carroll winners. Evan McCormick's "donorHarmony - Everyone has a perfect match" and Abby Saurine's "Of all the fish in the sea you are the type for me" were both clever and popular themes. "I've been brainstorming my ideas!" said Jordan.
There's also a youth movement of support behind the Carroll blood drive. Several 16-year-olds donated for the first time Thursday, and the student coordinators for the drive, twin sisters Lauren and Heather Young, are just sophomores.
"Last year we worked in the café," said Lauren. "Mrs. Wright asked us if we wanted to help. "A lot of our extra-curriculars we do together," said Heather. "We signed up people for the blood drive at a table outside the cafeteria."
Lauren and Heather aren't he only "multiples" supporting the blood drive. Senior Lyssa Engle is one of triplet sisters, and there are twin boys in the same family. She qualified for the CBC Red Cord Honor program Thursday with her third registration to donate. It didn't matter that she had a rainy select soccer practice on her schedule after school. "I've played on days so rainy and cold I got sick!" she said. "My mom's a nurse and she's really into donating."
Lyssa's brother Landon (a Carroll junior with a twin), closed in on his Red Cord with his 2nd lifetime donation Thursday. "That's what I'm going for," he said. He has a date for the Carroll prom Saturday night, but says he's not worried about his schedule getting too hectic. "Last year our blood drive was rescheduled and I ended up donating when I had the district track meet. I think it's more important."
Sophomore Zach Moorman was one of the young, first-time donors Thursday. "It went pretty well," he said from his bed in the donor area. "I just turned 16 and this was the first time I was able to do it. I thought it would be good to try to help someone out." Zach's J.V. baseball game scheduled for after school Thursday would probably be rained out. If not, donating on the day of a game might have cost him some playing time, but as Zach said, "It would be worth it."
Junior Mackenzie Lane and sophomore Chase Nichols made first donations side by side. "I was a little nervous," said Mackenzie. Chase said he had blood drawn from the same arm previously during a hospital visit. "I've been through it," he said, "just not as much!"
Senior Ashley Zugelder also talked about a hospital experience that influenced her decision to become a donor. She made her second lifetime donation Thursday. "I had a back injury," she said. "I didn't have to use anyone else's blood, but I thought just in case, if I had needed blood during my surgery. If someone else did need blood, I would want them to have it."