LTW winners Jennifer Felzien, Evan Binkley

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Springfield’s Northeastern High School has dominated the 2017 Community Blood Center/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarship competition. Seniors Jennifer Felzien and Evan Binkley won two of the five $1,000 scholarships awarded annually for the brightest blood drive recruitment campaigns.

The applicants were challenged to design a winning marketing campaign for a high school blood drive. They submitted a campaign slogan, explained why it would encourage fellow students to donate, and expressed their campaign theme with one or more innovative and artistic marketing techniques.

It’s the first time since 2014 that a single high school has had two scholarship winners in the same year. CBC’s Cora Johnson presented the award certificates to Jennifer and Evan at Northeastern’s Senior Breakfast Friday, May 19.

Krista Felzien: “Every Drop Has a Story.”

Krista Felzien is not only another Northeastern Lead the Way winner; she’s the second in her family. Her sister Jennifer won a 2014 Lead The Way scholarship with a poetry submission and Krista’s “Every Drop has a Story” campaign was just as creative.

She built a giant “blood bag” display out of paper and plastic tubing and invited donors to interactively participate by adding their thumbprints in red ink after donating. The design included her campaign slogan, “Every Drop has a Story.”

“Each ‘drop of blood’ on the poster is the actual thumbprint of someone who donated blood at the drive I coordinated in December of 2016,” Krista wrote.  “Each donor has their own story, and is leaving a unique imprint on the world and the lives of others.  Like thumbprints, everyone’s story and reason to give is different. In addition, every drop of blood donated gives the recipient the chance to continue their own story.”

At Friday’s presentation Krista said she came up with the idea as a way to thank her church for sponsoring blood drives. “I thought it would be good for donors to do their thumb print as a ‘thank you,’’ she said.  She thinks the ideal would be popular at high school blood drives. “Students like to leave their mark,” she said.

Krista is from South Vienna. She plans to major in nursing at Wright State University and become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Evan Binkley: “Old MacDonald Gave Some Blood, AB-A-B-O.”

Scholarship applicants often use humor to communicate a serious message and Evan Binkley’s “Old MacDonald Gave Some Blood” theme is one of the best.  “I definitely wanted to do something light-hearted to get people comfortable at blood drives,” Evan said at Friday’s presentation.

Evan borrowed the “The Old MacDonald Had a Farm” nursery rhyme for his campaign slogan, “Old MacDonald gave some blood, AB-A-B-O… if Old Mac can do it, so can YOU!”   The illustration for his t-shirt includes a cartoon baby pig and lamb.

“I attend a rural school and the students are always made fun of for being ‘farm kids,’” Evan wrote. “Farming is just one of the many ways one person can help others, i.e. growing food to feed others.

“I know that giving blood, regardless of a person’s occupation, is another example of one way that a person can help others. The farm song is universal, so rural school or not, everyone knows it.”

Evan gave credit to his mom at Friday’s presentation. “My mom is an elementary school teacher,” he said. “That made me think about nursery rhymes, how everybody can relate to them and find them a little bit funny.”

Evan is from Springfield. He plans to major in computer science and engineering and minor in music. He would like to work in the music business or in music therapy.

The 2017 Lead The Way winners include: Aliya Stine from Newton High School, Karilyn Willenbrink from Miami East High School, and Kayla Kohler from Botkins High School.

Northeastern High Lead The Way winners

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