SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – It’s not every day that royalty pays a visit to the Springfield Community Blood Center. South Vienna’s Leah Parker traded her throne for the donor bed Monday, June 5 so that she could make giving blood one of her first official good deeds as the newly-crowned “Miss Ohio International.”
Leah is a 19-year-old redhead, a Northeastern High School graduate, and a Wright State University cheerleader. She claimed the Miss Ohio title at the 2017 Ohio International Pageant held April 30 in Perrysburg.
Leah entertained the Springfield CBC staff by posing after her donation with her Miss Ohio crown and sash, plus the Coban bandage around her donation arm. Instead of a royal scepter she proudly held the unit of blood she had just donated. For the record, Leah’s blood is dark red, not blue.
“The first time I ever donated was the week after I turned 16!” Leah said. She donated at her high school blood drives and at her church, Plattsburg United Church of Christ. Monday marked her fourth lifetime donation. Advocating for an abundant and safe blood supply is her chosen mission during her reign as Miss Ohio.
“As Miss Ohio International 2017 my platform is HIV/AIDS awareness,” Leah said. “Safe blood transfusions have clearly made strides to end that transmission avenue of HIV. As part of my year, I hope to encourage many young people around the country to make blood donation a routine part of their lives.”
Leah has been competing in pageants for about five years. “Miss Ohio International was my first ‘Miss’ pageant, as opposed to ‘teen,’” she said. “I was the youngest contestant and actually took home the crown!”
Her victory has opened new doors. She’s leaving Ohio to compete on a national stage and study for a legal career far from home.
“I will be competing in Miss International in Charleston in August!” she said about the Aug. 4-5 pageant at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, West Virginia.
“A few days after the pageant, I will be packing my bags and heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend Tulsa University and finish my pre-law degree so that I can attend law school in just a few short years!” she said. “I have a busy summer ahead of me between modeling gigs and preparing for nationals!”
But she was not too busy to make donating blood a royal priority. Community Blood Center says congratulations to Miss Ohio International “Princess Leah” Parker, a very regal “Donor for Life.”