DAYTON, Ohio – On a very un-February Friday with temperatures daring to top the high 70’s, some Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School students enjoyed having a good excuse to wear jeans and shorts.  Donors and volunteers at the Feb. 24 Community Blood Center campus blood drive were rewarded with an out-of-uniform day for helping save lives.

A group of Student Council volunteers gathered around the table where they were distributing CBC “Blood Donation is the Language of Saving Lives” t-shirt to donors.  The nearby Donor Café tables were overflowing with donuts and other breakfast foods for the early crowd; a cornucopia of sandwiches was on the way for the lunch crowd.

“They filled up fast!” volunteer Alyssa Mims said of the full schedule of donor appointments. “Food and getting out of class is a good combo!” said fellow volunteer Aeryonne Hawkins.

CJ blood drive coordinator Angela Ruffolo has overseen plenty of CJ blood drives.  She considered the high interest in Friday’s blood drive nearly as notable as the high temperatures.

The final results for the spring blood drive totaled 90 donor registrations, 61 first-time donors, and 68 donations for 105 percent of the collection goal.

“I’m excited about it,” she said.  “We filled up all the slots and had a waiting list, so I’m excited we’ve had so much interest. We generally have good years, but this year we have a larger group than usual coming in. I think people realize the importance of donating blood because it saves lives.”

Senior Jaime Cambon gave a “thumbs up” at the Donor Café in celebration of his third lifetime donation, which qualified him to be a CBC Red Cord Honor graduate. “I’ve been shooting for it since my sophomore year,” he said.

But the blood drive got significant support from underclassmen, including junior Kierstin Saunders, who made her first lifetime donation.

“My grandpa has been in the hospital a lot,” Kierstin said. “I can’t really help in any other way. I never had done it before, but my mom’s always done it. I’ve gone with her (to blood drives) and watched her do it.”

Senior McKenzie Camplin couldn’t wait to make her first lifetime donation. “My mom says I have O type blood and anyone can take it,” she said. She convinced both parents that she was ready to become a donor, reminding them she is never bothered by needles at the doctor’s office.

It was also nice for McKenzie to relax comfortably as she made her first donation, wearing shorts and her favorite “Joy of Painting” artist Bob Ross t-shirt.

“As long as I can help people,” she said.

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