Jami Lee, Wilson Health voting

SIDNEY, Ohio – There were many heroes to honor at the second annual Shelby County “Heroes Behind the Badge Blood Drive” but the top honor went to the “home team.”  Wilson Health in Sidney hosted the Tuesday, Aug. 29 blood drive and a surge of support from hospital workers carried the day for the “Healthcare” team.

Sidney and Shelby County police won the inaugural 2016 “Heroes” blood drive, but this year had to settle for a second-place tie with the firefighters.  All who registered to donate could cast a vote for their favorite health and public safety team.  Healthcare got 35 votes, followed by police and fire with 27 each, and Emergency Medical Services with 17.

It was a true win for all hospital patients who depend on Community Blood Center donors.  The “Heroes” blood drive totaled 102 donors, including 12 first-time donors and 85 donations.

One of the donors voting for Healthcare was Wilson Health President and CEO Mark Dooley.

Healthcare donors were especially glad to help out at a time when CBC has been asked to send blood products to Texas donor centers in the Hurricane Harvey disaster area to aid the relief effort.

“I voted for police last time,” said Piqua donor Rosalie Snipes. “All these people are all needed.  But I have a cousin who works in healthcare in Houston, so I’m voting for healthcare.”

“We need them all,” agreed Anna donor Dave Heitman. “I know a lot of Shelby County sheriff’s deputies. I wouldn’t want to be without any of them.”

The voting competition is very transparent during the course of the blood drive. CBC’s Kathy Pleiman sets up the balloting with four clear plastic containers, so donors can gauge the vote count at a glance.

“We did win last year,” said Sidney Police Officer Michael McRill after making his 38th lifetime donation and voting for police. “I don’t know about this year. I just got off duty, and I thought I’d better come out.”

All the teams showed dedication to supporting the “Heroes” blood drive, but none better than Healthcare.  Houston donor Tashaunya Strunk is an emergency room nurse who works the late night shift at Wilson Health.  Instead of sleeping late she came back to Wilson to support the blood drive.

“I just woke up,” said Tashaunya after making her 12th lifetime blood donation. “It wasn’t so bad last night, and I’m off today. I will vote for Wilson for sure!”

Tashaunya Strunk 12 LTD


Thank you vote

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio – The Beavercreek Township firefighters beat the police by 19 votes in the fourth annual “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive” Monday, Aug. 28 at Peace Lutheran Church.  But when it came down to the joy of helping others, one vote proved more valuable than the rest.

An anonymous donor added a simple message to her ballot.  She voted for the firefighters and wrote, “Thank you BFD for saving my son’s life.”

“There were tears involved when we saw this,” said Pat Cochran, who organized the Battle of the Badges with BTFD Auxiliary volunteers and Peace Lutheran Church blood drive coordinator Dan Jessup. She said it was also gratifying to hear donors talk about their blood donations to Community Blood Center being sent to Texas to help with the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

“We got it back!” said Pat. “This is so worth the effort. Some of the blood collected today will be processed and sent to Texas. What good timing this is. This is the America I know. The one where we have one another’s back.”

The Battle of the Badges totaled 101 donors, including 13 first-time donors and 88 blood donations for 110 percent of the collection goal.  “I’m very pleased,” said Dan Jessup. “More than 100 donors is not a bad day!”

The firefighters revenged last year’s loss by a 52-33 vote count.  After making his donation Monday Chief David Vandenbos predicted the outcome.  “You can quote me, the fire department won!  That’s how confident I am.”

“I do this every year,” said Beavercreek donor Deniece Chin. “Last year I voted for the fire department, so this year I’ll voter for the police. I’m just a happy resident of Beavercreek, so happy they have this.”

“I think about the people (flood victims) in Houston, they’re going to need blood,” said donor Teresa Zubeck. “It’s so easy to do, it doesn’t hurt. We have a great fire department and police department. If I could I’d vote for two of them.”

Chief Vandenbos’ wife Toni is an auxiliary member and also donated Monday. She joined the volunteers in serving chili made by Beavercreek Township Chili Contest winner Jan Shultz to the donors.  Donor Sue Kirby sat beside police and fire supporters at the Donor Café and said, “It’s hard to decide, I’ve got one on either side!”

Beavercreek Police Officer Joel Diaz was able to take time from his patrol schedule to donate.  His vote was one of the last of the day. It wasn’t enough to help the police defend the “Battle of Badges” title, but he had no regrets about the outcome.

“They’re good guys,” he said of his friendly rivals at BTFD. “We go at each other, but at the end of the day we love each other, whether they admit it or not!”

Officer Joel Diaz donating


houston flooding

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center is assisting in the relief effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by sending blood products to the southeast Texas disaster area.  CBC is now calling on donors, particularly type O donors, to help replenish the local blood supply.

Coastal Bend Blood Center in Corpus Christi and Gulf Coast Blood Center in Houston are both in need of blood. Coastal Bend has resumed collections, but the local population is just beginning to return and is struggling with flood damage. Gulf Coast will not be able to reopen and resume collections until the end of the week at the earliest. CBC is sending an initial shipment of 60 units of blood to Coastal Bend and demand is expected to continue.

The AABB Interorganizational Task Force is urging eligible donors across America, especially those with type O blood, to help with the relief effort.

“We are asking all potential donors, both current and first-timers, to make a commitment to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible,” said Dennis Todd, chair of the task force.

With blood drives cancelled for multiple days due to widespread flooding, all blood collection agencies in the U.S. are making efforts to meet the emergency blood needs and ensure a sufficient blood supply in storm affected areas.

It is important for blood donors to give in the coming days and weeks to meet the immediate and future needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. If donations are negatively impacted, the long-term needs of patients could be affected.

The task force will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as blood needs change.



Horizon Science Academy CBC Award

DAYTON, Ohio – Horizon Science Academy Dayton is a small charter school with a “can-do” attitude about helping others.  Community Blood Center has awarded a $1,000 High School Leadership Grant to Horizon Science Academy for outstanding blood drive participation.

Horizon Science Academy Dayton finished the 2016-2017 school years as CBC’s second-ranked school in percentage of eligible students participating in blood drives.  The Horizon Science Academy High School has only about 150 students. But its winter and spring blood drives totaled 66 donors, including 40 first-time donors and 46 donations for 110 percent participation.

It’s not the first time CBC has honored Horizon with a Leadership Grant. In the 2013-2014 academic year Horizon had the smallest number of eligible student donor enrollment among CBC blood drive schools.  But Horizon won the grant for “Most Improved” after adding a second blood drive and seeing a 125 percent increase in donor registration.

“We have students who are willing to help the community and want to be part of the community,” said Horizon Science Academy Dayton Principal Hakan Bagcioglu. “We are a community charter school, so it makes sense. I think the school culture and the values we have help to promote this for us.”

CBC traditionally kicks off the new year of high school blood drives by honoring the highest-achieving high schools from the previous year with $1,000 High School Leadership grants awards in five categories.

Fairmont High School in Kettering won grants for both “Most Donors” and “Red Cord Excellence.” Seton Catholic High School in Richmond was the top-ranked school in percentage of participation.  Troy Christian High School won the grant for “Most Improved.”

In the 2016-2017 school year 119 high schools in CBC’s 15-county region hosted 220 blood drives, totaling 14,322 registrations to donate, 6,218 first-time donors and 11,185 blood donations.



GREENVILLE, Ohio – Community Blood Center “T-Shirt Day” on Wednesday, Aug. 23 came right in the magical midway point of the nine days of the annual Great Darke County Fair.

Fairgoers put time on hold by taking a week of vacation or clocking out early.  Whole families move to the fairgrounds, sleeping in campers after daily livestock showings and Bake-a-Rama competitions. Retirees wind back the clock as they wander the midway reliving younger days and fairs gone by.  Kids stretch summer a few days longer before reluctantly returning to school.

For blood donors, T-Shirt Day means digging deep in the dresser drawers and wearing a blast of color from the past.  They wore their colors proudly as they stopped by the CBC tent to enter the door prize drawings, pick out free t-shirts, and help CBC’s Dana Puterbaugh pass the goal of 250 visits from donors wearing CBC t-shirts.

“This was the ninth year for t-shirt day!” said Dana.  “We exceeded the goal this year with 284 donors stopping by the booth!   Last year we had 239 and this year 284.”

The donors came from towns across Darke County and beyond the county lines. Greenville led the way with 102 visitors.  Arcanum was well represented with 30 visitors and Versailles was close behind with 27.

Greenville fifth-grader Kyrie Unger and her mom Kathy stopped at the CBC tent on the way to the sheep barn. “She shows sheep and we’re going to get her lamb ready,” said Kathy.  Kyrie’s lamb “Dawn” would be competing in the breed show.

North Star’s Bill Fraley works and donates at Midmark.  He could relax at T-Shirt Day because his 13-year old son Caleb had finished the rabbit competition with a ribbon. “He did pretty good showing rabbits. He got the best in his class!”

Wednesday was Armed Forces Veterans Day at the fair, and many donors wore the CBC “Military Appreciation” and “American Spirit” t-shirts in anticipation of the Veteran’s Parade and Memorial Service that evening.

Kevin and Kathy Grilliot from Versailles chose shirts that were old but unfaded.  “We were looking for something more classic,” said Kevin.

Sharon Brown from Eaton wore a tropical Parrot Head t-shirt because it was the brightest in her t-shirt inventory.  Her fair memories are also unfaded.

“I have been coming to the fair ever since I can remember,” she said. “We lived in Lewisburg. My dad would take vacation, we’d bring fried chicken, and we’d come up here with the whole family.”

Greenville donor Glenn Turner wore a Parrot Head t-shirt because “It was clean, and it’s white on a hot day.”

“I’ve been coming to the fair since I was old enough to drive,” said Glenn.  “The fair didn’t mean much until you started getting interested in girls.”  Now he shows off his free admission pass to the fair that goes to couples that have been married for 50 years.

It wasn’t the fair that brought Glen and his wife together. “We met cruising Broadway,” he said. “They don’t do that anymore. She was with a couple of other girls. At Christmas time we went cruising Broadway in a Chevy convertible.  It was cold, but that’s what’s nice about riding in a convertible – you get close!”  They have four sons, seven grandkids and eight great grandkids.

Tangela Weimer wore her CBC colors proudly on T-Shirt Day.  The Weimers are a farm family from New Madison and they had spent the last three days showing dairy cattle and getting ready for the sale on Thursday.  “It’s their college fund,” she said of this traditional family project. “It teaches them a work ethic.”

They are also strong believers in blood donations because donors helped give her son a future.

“We started donating because our son had three open-heart surgeries,” Tangela said. Their son Amos – nicknamed “Famous Amos” by his hospital nurses – was born with a heart defect.  He is now 14 years old and despite a few set-backs, lives an active teenager’s life. He plays junior high football and baseball, and will come straight to the fair from football practice.

Over the years and over the miles, the Darke County Fair is a celebration of community.  Tangela sees a similar bond in giving blood.  “We wanted to give back,” she said. “We’re very appreciative.  We’re in this together.”



Seton Catholic Grant Award

RICHMOND, Indiana – Seton Catholic High School in Richmond is proving again it is a small school with a big heart.  Community Blood Center has awarded a $1,000 High School Leadership Grant to Seton Catholic for outstanding blood drive participation in 2016-2017, making it one of CBC’s most honored high schools.

Seton Catholic won the grant for “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” for 2016-2017 with 175 percent participating in blood drives. It marks the second year in a row that Seton Catholic has won this category and it is their fourth Leadership Grant award in three years.

CBC’s Melinda Frech presented the award to SCHS Principal John Markward and blood drive coordinator Shaunna Stamm during a Thursday, Aug. 18 student assembly.  The students enthusiastically supported three blood drives in 2016-2017 and will host four blood drives in 2017-2018.

“We’re trying to keep awareness and increase it every year,” said Principal Markward, who also serves as advisor to Student Council, the student sponsor group for the blood drives.

“It’s not about the award, it’s the outcome,” he said. “It’s giving back to the community. The kids are involved in it and they’re so excited about it.  This year will be the first time we’re up to four blood drives. They see what they can do to make the kind of impact that helps the community.”

Seton Catholic won “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” in 2015-2016 with 152 percent participation and won two grants in 2014-2015 for “Second Highest Percentage of Enrollment” and “Most Improved.”

Student Council will help decide how to use the grant award. Last year’s award helped fund an anti-bullying awareness program.  All third through 12th grade students received t-shirts with the message, “Speak Up. Bullying Stops Here.”

CBC traditionally kicks off the new year of high school blood drives by honoring the highest-achieving high schools from the previous year with $1,000 High School Leadership grants awards in five categories.

Horizon Science Academy Dayton was second to Seton Catholic with 110 percent participation.  Troy Christian High School won the grant for “Most Improved.” Fairmont High School in Kettering won grants for both “Most Donors” and “Red Cord Excellence.”

In the 2016-2017 school year 119 high schools in CBC’s 15-county region hosted 220 blood drives, totaling 14,322 registrations to donate, 6,218 first-time donors and 11,185 blood donations.

Seaton Catholic Student Council


Kathy with donor

SIDNEY, Ohio -There’s nothing like lunch at the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County, always hot and homemade.  When it comes as a “thank you” for helping save lives by donating blood, it’s even better.

Community Blood Center honored the Senior Center of Sidney and Shelby Count with the Platinum Award in the LifeSaving Ambassadors Club for blood drive excellence in 2016 with the plaque presentation at the Senior Center’s Wednesday, Aug. 16 blood drive.

CBC’s Kathy Pleiman presented the award to blood drive coordinator Georgina Dressman and her team of Senior Center volunteers that includes Becky Vanhorn, Caroline Warner, Gina Griesdorn, and Karen Ferreira.

The Senior Center hosts six CBC blood drives a year, and always features a hot lunch in the Donor Café.  At Wednesday’s blood drive volunteers served Sloppy Joe’s sandwiches, bowls of chili, and homemade cookies.

“Our group of volunteers does such a wonderful job, especially with the hot lunch for our donors,” said Georgina. “I put Becky in charge of the kitchen!”

The ladies were quick to give praise to Georgina.  “She’s our leader and she’s great!” said Karen.

The Platinum award in the LifeSaving Ambassadors Club is CBC’s highest honor for blood drive sponsors. It recognizes blood drives that achieve 100 percent or higher of collection goals.

The Senior Center’s six blood drives in 2016 averaged 102 percent of goal with a total of 494 donors, 13 first-time donors and 416 donations.

The Senior Center is on its way to another great year. Wednesday’s blood drive totaled 77 donors and 63 donations for 117 percent of goal.

“LifeSaving Ambassadors Club membership is our opportunity to recognize our sponsor partners and thank them for their hard work,” said Kathy Pleiman, CBC’s account representative for Shelby County.  “The Senior Center provides area donors with the opportunity to give blood every two months at a familiar and friendly location.  They are truly members of a special club because they are helping save lives year round.”

Donor William Joslin in cafe