DAYTON, Ohio - The University of Dayton wrapped up an outstanding year of blood donations with its final Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive of the school year Tuesday, April 15 at the RecPlex. It was fitting that after such a frigid winter students would wake up to a layer of snow across campus on a day they expected to be strolling to the spring blood drive in shorts and t-shirts.
"I was going to work-out before the blood drive," said Anais Nin, a junior from Puerto Rico named for the author and diarist. She's an R.A. at Marycrest dormitory, the student sponsor group of the blood drive. "Someone said, 'Anais where's your coat?' I said, 'Why do I need a coat? It's warm. They said, 'No, it's not!'"
Some of Tuesday's donors could remember cold weather on the day of many blood drives, including the snow that fell the morning of the Jan. 21 blood drive. But with 10 undergraduate-sponsored blood drives during the 2013-14 school year, plus two sponsored by U.D. Law School, the Flyers have truly been blood drive hosts for all seasons.
The students shrugged off the cold snap and focused on the tougher task of juggling the last blood drive with the final week of classes before exams. Tuesday's blood drive produced 70 registrations and 49 donations, including 44 first-time donors. That brought the total for the 2013-14 school year to 688 registrations and 505 blood donations, including 302 first-time donors. The U.D. Law School added 51 registrations, 42 donations and 15 first-time donors.
"It's really great to see U.D. finish the year so strong," said CBC account representative Donna Teushcer. "We had 104 appointments in the first two days." "We had two weeks of 'table days' planned," said Marycrest volunteer MacKenzie Shivers. "But so many people signed up, everything filled up."
"We set up a table in our lobby and there's a dining hall where people walk past," said sophomore Patrick Doyle, a Marycrest volunteer who made his first lifetime blood donation Tuesday then helped serve donors in the Donor Café. "We just started grabbing them and saying, 'Hey, what are you doing on Tuesday?'"
It was a recruiting approach that worked perfectly for Mary Catherine Healey, a freshman pre-med student from Lexington, KY. "I just like to help when I can in any way," she said after making her first U.D. donation. "I didn't hear about it until I saw THAT nice fellow in Marycrest!" she said, pointing to Patrick.
Freshmen Rita Zambon from St. John, IN and Cecilia Ruffing from Pittsburgh are friends who donated together. "I tried once before but I was iron deficient," said Rita, who made her first donation Tuesday. "I made her do it!" said Cecilia. "We like the free t-shirt!" they agreed, holding their new CBC "Take Me Out to the Blood Drive - Lifesaver League" shirts.
The only disappointment was the temporary disappearance of t-shirt weather. "When I saw the snow this morning, I was kind of depressed," said Cecilia. "I wondered if all the flowers were going to die."
Most of the snow had disappeared by the end of the blood drive and temperatures are expected to warm-up later in the week. Like new buds emerging, the spring blood drive brought out 44 first-time donors. Sheila Kagel, a sophomore from Cleveland found out about the drive though her community service fraternity Gamma Epsilon Lambda and made her first donation. Senior Austin Ekezie from Cincinnati also donated for the first time. "My friends signed me up for this," he said smiling, "but I probably would have done it anyway."
Rebekka Wendland is a freshman from Rochester, NY where spring snow is no surprise. She's looking forward to finishing exams and going home for the first time since the Christmas break. She made her first U.D. blood donation at the first blood drive in the fall and book-ended her freshman year by donating at the last blood drive Tuesday. "I just like to help people," she said. What happened between helping at the fall and spring blood drives? "Lots of learning," she said. "That's college!"