MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County rivals Piqua and Troy High Schools boosted the Community Blood Center high school program in 2017-18 with their unique brand of competitive zeal and community spirit. It was fitting for the two rivals to bring the year to a close by hosting the final two high school blood drives of the school year.
Troy High School held its spring blood drive on May 14. Piqua High School followed on Monday, May 21, with the final high school blood drive of the school year in CBC’s 15-county service area. The late dates presented challenges for both schools.
“For the seniors, this is the last Monday at school,” said Piqua blood drive coordinator April Watson, adviser for the student sponsor Interact Club. “Senior exams are Thursday and Friday, so we’re pushing it pretty late. There is so much to do before the end of the year.”
Loyal senior blood donors and Interact Club members juggled their schedules to support the final blood drive, reaching 105 percent of their goal with 109 donors, including 34 first-time donors and 88 donations.
Club members served their classmates refreshments in the Donor Café, and added the touch of personal notes on the napkins. One message read, “Thank you for your Generosity and Kindness.”
Interact Club President Darby Bubp made her milestone fifth lifetime donation to complete her high school blood drive career as a volunteer and donor. For Bubp, every final milestone at Piqua High comes with some mixed emotions.
“We just had our Interact end-of-year party,” said Bubp. “It was pretty sad though. I’m past-president now. It’s saying goodbye to everything I’ve been in.”
Organizing the late blood drive at Troy High School was also a challenge to the student sponsor ASTRA club volunteers and blood drive coordinator Angie Anderson.
“We had quite a bit of luck,” said Anderson. Some of the volunteers got out and recruited people, got a few sign-ups and filled in the gaps.” That helped the blood drive reach 94 percent of goal with 100 donors and 79 donations.
Underclassmen becoming eligible to donate in time for the May 14 blood drive provided a big boost to the blood drive success. Registrations included 41 first-time donors, and many were 16-year-olds who celebrated birthdays very close to the blood drive.
“I didn’t even think of that!” said first-time donor Bryce Laughman, who turned 16 on May 7. “I’m feeling great! I feel like I could take on the world!”
Troy and Piqua helped complete a remarkable year for young blood donors in Miami County.
• Ten Miami County high schools hosted 18 blood drives and totaled 1,112 donors and 898 donations. That represented eight percent of CBC’s total high school collections for the year.
• Donor support for the 20th annual Troy-Piqua Challenge was the highest in the history of the cross-county rivalry. A total of 419 students and community members “voted” by registering to donate; there were 155 first-time donors and 356 pints of blood donated. Piqua won by a 213-201 margin.
• Ohio State Rep. Steve Huffman from Miami County introduced House Bill 252 to designate January “Blood Donor Awareness Month” in Ohio. The first recognition will be in January 2019. Rep. Huffman hopes it will inspire more young people to donate. “We have a growing need to get the young people involved, to teach them that it’s easy to start giving blood as part of service to others,” he said.
• Two of the five high school seniors to win CBC/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarships for 2018 are from Miami County. Mikayala Schaffner from Miami East High School and Kacie Tackett from Newton High school each received $1,000 for college tuition. It’s the third year in a row that a “Lead The Way” winner has come from Miami East and the second year in a row with a winner from Newton.
Connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org. Get fast and complete answers on how to make your first donation, organize a blood drive, or bring the CBC’s education program to your school. Get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to our social media pages, or schedule your next appointment to donate by connecting to www.DonorTime.com.