Amanda Riggins 1 LTD

Kettering parent Amanda Riggins makes her first lifetime donation at Unity Blood Drive.

KETTERING, Ohio – Supporters of traditional rivals Alter and Fairmont High Schools rallied together on a hot, muggy mid-summer Friday, July 15 to give blood and support the community with the annual Kettering “Unity in the Community Blood Drive” at Fairmont High School.

The Knights and Firebirds have a long history helping boost the summer blood supply with a July blood drive. They accomplished that mission again Friday with 95 registrations, 32 first-time donors and 75 donations for 107 percent of the collection goal.

A year ago the “Kettering Challenge” was renamed the “Kettering Unity in the Community” blood drive with the added goal of helping a charity.

The “Unity in the Community” campaign is a partnership between Alter and Fairmont High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  Friday’s community blood drive kicked-off the 2016-2017 Unity campaign.

In the fall Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for hosting a campus blood drive.  The schools will combine the awards and present $1,000 to a charity, community organization or family in need.  The check presentation will take place at an Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

The schools alternate naming the charity to receive the $1,000 award.  Last year the Fairmont United Student Body chose the “Community Summer Food Program” sponsored by Partners for Healthy Youth in Kettering.  Alter will choose the recipient for the 2016-2017 school year.

“We had a core of kids very involved with the United Student Body,” said Fairmont blood drive co-coordinator Erica Rogers. “They really got excited about supporting that.”

Friday’s Unity Blood Drive was a mix of current students, recent graduates, and community members. Many heard about the blood drive from emails and phone calls generated by the Kettering School District.  The blood drive featured the special offer of free Kings Island tickets for those who registered to donate.

“My son is in first grade at Prass Elementary School,” said Kettering’s Amanda Riggins, who made her first lifetime donation Friday. She was motivated to donate when she received an email from the school district.  “I try to get involved as best I can.”

Friday represented a return to the halls of Fairmont High for Miamisburg’s Morgan Schockman, a 2007 graduate.  She met her parents Marty and Dana Williams at the blood drive and made her first blood donation. “My little brother goes here,” she said. “My parents have always donated.  They got a call and told me they were going and I decided to do it.”

Last year the combined Alter and Fairmont Unity Blood Drives totaled 351 donors, 145 first-time donors, and 303 donations.   Fairmont will host its 2016 Unity Blood Drive on Nov. 3 and Alter will follow with its Unity Blood Drive on Nov. 17.

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