Julia Bauer and Madeline Salach

DAYTON, Ohio – The trees remain barren and winter coats still abound at the University of Dayton, even on April 17 as the RecPlex hosted the final blood drive of the school year.  Not to worry, spring will surely come, just as UD students keep coming to blood drives.

Graduation is a just a couple of weeks away, but the Flyers took time to support the blood drive with 62 donors, including 13 first-time donors and 49 donations for 117 percent of the collection goal.

Service to others is a common mission at UD. The Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Preprofessional Honor Society and the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity sponsored the blood drive. Members helped recruit donors and volunteered in the Donor Café.

“We always say, it’s a testimony to the students,” said Campus Recreation Director Melissa Longino. “It’s always about the betterment of their organization and outward to the community.”

CBC presented the 2017 Platinum Award in the LifeSaving Ambassadors Club to UD at the final blood drive. In 2017 UD hosted eight blood drives, totaling 640 donors and including 265 first-time donors and 505 donations. Platinum is CBC’s highest award to sponsor for achieving 100 percent or more of collection goals.

“There is no fatigue to it,” said Operations and Administration Associate Director Dave Ostrander. “Other things may taper off, but there’s no slowing down at the blood drives.”

“I’m a strong, able-bodied person and I want to help people not as able-bodied,” said donor Beth Shannon, a junior from Cincinnati. “I’ve been blessed and I want to help them, it’s saving lives.”

The idea of helping others inspires the future health professional volunteers. “It’s a good experience for us to see how the blood supply starts, and the awareness of it,” said Alpha Epsilon Delta volunteer Andrea Vietti. “I’m glad that we have this opportunity.”

Nikki Meyer is a junior from Anna who started donating at Anna High School.  She made her 18th lifetime donation at the UD blood drive.  It’s a remarkable donor history for her age, but she sees it as only a beginning.

“I just want to make as many donations as I can,” said Nikki. “I’m trying to beat my grandpa’s record. He died at 65 years of age in a car accident. In his life he donated 16 gallons of blood.”

University of Dayton LAC 2017 plat


Edgewood DECA volunteers

TRENTON, Ohio – DECA club students at Edgewood High School have a head for business and knack for creating a marketing buzz about their campus blood drives.  They proved it again by inspiring an army of new donors to support the spring blood drive on April 13 for Community Blood Center.

The DECA volunteers were decked out in matching blue t-shirts and equally dedicated to making the blood drive a positive experience, especially to those donating for the first time.  The blood drive reached 104 percent of goal with 113 donors and 83 donations, including a big boost from 45 first-time donors.

DECA, previously known Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international association of high school and college students interested in business marketing, management and entrepreneurship.  Organizing and promoting the blood drive is a favorite DECA project.

“We try to put in the real world instead of just talking about it,” said DECA president Rebekah Moore, a junior who made her second lifetime donation at the blood drive. “The hands-on experience is so beneficial.”

“They put it altogether and promote it in several ways,” said faculty DECA advisor and blood drive coordinator Rocky Chasteen.  “They post announcements, we use media, the school app, website and the marquee sign out front.  They also talk about it in the classroom during ‘Edge Time,’ which is like a homeroom period, where they can pick-up forms and sign-up.”

First-time donor Jayden Carder said she was motived by DECA students because, “They went to class and talked about.” She was one of many 16-year-old donors who became eligible in time for the spring blood drive.

“You can’t ask other people to donate without doing it yourself,” said Rebekah Moore. “You get people excited. They see how much the school comes together for this cause. They feel positive and say, ‘I can do this.’”

“I actually have kind of a fear of needles,” said senior Jimmy Haney, who made his fourth lifetime donation at Edgewood.  “But I do it as a ‘Good Samaritan’ thing to do.  I actually look at it like voting.  It’s a civic duty thing to do.”

Sophomore Tanner Dugas, who made his second lifetime donation at the spring blood drive, didn’t need convincing.

“When I was young I had a birth defect,” Tanner said after signing his name to the DECA poster display of blood drive donors.

“I almost died. I had to have blood transfusions. If it wasn’t for blood donors I wouldn’t be here. I feel like I want to give back to someone else.”

Jimmy Haney donating


Cayley Baker donating

DAYTON, Ohio – “If I have some to spare, why not share?” said Sinclair Community College student Alexis Kinder said as she donated April 11 at the final campus blood drive of the school year. It summed up the “Tartan Strong” effort that boosted Sinclair to a 10 percent increase in blood drive participation in 2017-2018.

The spring blood drive reached 100 percent of the collection goal with 45 donors and 30 donations. Sinclair’s four blood drives during the 2017-2018 academic year totaled 163 donors, 34 first-time donors and 120 donations and averaged more than 103 percent of the collection goals.

Community Blood Center honored Sinclair with the Platinum award in the 2017 LifeSaving Ambassadors Club at the spring blood drive. It’s CBC’s top award to blood drive sponsors who achieve 100 percent or more of collection goals.

CBC presented the award to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which traditionally sponsors a blood drive in the fall and the spring. The honor students sponsored the April 11 blood drive, and kept the check-in table and Donor Café well-staffed with volunteers.

“This is one of the main things we do,” said Phi Theta Kappa member Teresa Hitch. “Last year we were overbooked and had to turn people away. This year we’ve had a steady flow.”

Recruiting for the final blood drive can be a challenge as the end of the semester nears and students focus on finals.  But student donors gave nearly equal support to last blood drive of the year as they did to their first blood drive in September.

Biology student Cayley Baker flipped through flash cards as she donated.  She started donating at Franklin Monroe High School, but this was her first donation at Sinclair. “These are for my biology test on Friday,” she said about her notes. “I saw the sign for the blood drive when I was going to lunch. I thought, I can give blood and I can study!”

Zach Smith is also a biology student, and also made his first donation at Sinclair at the year-end blood drive. He’s an O negative “universal donor” who made four donations while in high school at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.  “I missed the blood drive last term,” he said, “so I’m glad they did this.”

Alexis Kinder made her second lifetime donation at the spring blood drive.  She was inspired to keep donating because of the phone call she received after her first donation telling her when and where her blood was used to help a patient.

“It’s cool that I’m able to do something about it directly if someone needs blood,” said Alexis.

Sinclair will launch the 2018-2019 school year with a CBC blood drive on Sept. 19.

Sinclair Phi Theta Kappa LAC 2017 Platinum Award


Atrium blood drive

FAIRBORN, Ohio – There’s a success story at Wright State University that might have been overlooked during a championship basketball season and challenging budget cuts.  The Raiders are quietly building a reputation for helping save lives with their award-winning campus blood drives.

Community Blood Center is honoring both Wright State University and the Boonshoft School of Medicine with Platinum awards in the 2017 LifeSaving Ambassadors Club for blood drive excellence. Platinum is the highest honor to blood drive sponsors for achieving 100 percent or more of collection goals.

Compare blood drive performance during the school year of 2016-2017 to the current year, and the turn-around is dramatic.  Wright State completed the 2017-2018 year with its April 10 blood drive in the Student Union Atrium.  It was a strong finish with 38 donors, including a dozen first-time donors and 33 donations for 150 percent of the collection goal.

Tuesday’s blood drive was the sixth blood drive of the 2017-2018 school year, double the number of blood drives in 2016-2017.  The six blood drives totaled 258 donors, including 90 first-time donors and 201 blood donations for 118 percent of goal.

Wright state not only doubled the number of blood drives from the previous year, it also increased number of donors by 118 percent.

The Boonshoft School of Medicine went from one blood drive in the 2016-2017 school year to four in the current year. Boonshoft totaled 125 donors, 52 first-time donors and 97 donations for 111 percent of collection goal, a 681 percent increase.

The Association of Student Nurses co-sponsored the April 10 WSU blood drive with the Honors Program, and also sponsored a blood drive in the fall.

“We’re doing pretty good, we’ve got a lot of walk-ins,” said nursing student Claire Deffet as she and fellow ASN volunteers checked-in donors and offered refreshments in the Donor Café.  “It’s good for us to volunteer. It gets you exposed to different things, like helping people who might have reactions.”

Senior Alex Vaughn started donating in high school and continued at Wright State.  She made her sixth lifetime donation Tuesday.  “I donate about once a year,” said Alex. “I don’t donate as often as some people I know, but I like to when I can.”

Sam Tendam stopped by the Atrium blood drive to make his second lifetime donation.  He belongs to Sigma Phi Epsilon, a fraternity that encourages members to contribute community service hours.  “That’s what brought me out here today,” said Sam, “But it’s also a good thing to do.”

Alex Vaughn 6 LTD


Belmont High Volunteers

DAYTON, Ohio – Belmont High School began a new era in 2011 when it moved to its brand new “Bison Blue” building on Wayne Avenue.  The Bisons reached another milestone the following year with the school’s first ever Community Blood Center blood drive.  Their spring blood drive on April 10 marked six years of helping save lives.

Belmont hosts two blood drives a year, always in October and April.  Belmont school nurse Marian Doukoure coordinated the first blood drive on Oct. 12, 2012, and is still the coordinator.

“We started in 2012 after we came over to the new building in November of 2011,” said Marian. She had been inspired to encourage blood donations, especially in the African-American community, after her three-year old nephew was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. She argued that students might miss class time, but they would be learning valuable lessons about community service.

Tuesday’s blood drive totaled 69 donors and 47 donations. Belmont’s October and April blood drives combined totaled 147 donors, including 63 first-time donors and 108 donations for 96 percent of the collection goals.

Blood drive sponsorship at Belmont is a joint effort between the National Honor Society and the Navy Junior ROTC.  NHS advisor Thomas Peters is a CBC “Donor for Life” with 169 lifetime donations, and commonly donates at the Belmont blood drives.

“I think if you can see that your teachers do it, that’s encouragement,” said Thomas. “I’ve been donating as long as I can remember. We use the blood drive as a service project at Belmont.  NHS has been involved from the beginning.”

Not all students in the NJROTC program at Belmont will join the military after graduation. Emphasis in the program is on developing good citizenship, individual discipline and leadership, and promoting community service.

“We don’t recruit, but I think of the blood drive volunteers, 14 are NJROTC,” said Senior Naval Science Instructor Commander Scott Smith. “It’s an opportunity for community service.”

Senior Kristian Jergensen made his first lifetime donation at the blood drive. He plans to join the Marine Corps after graduation. “My recruiter said to do it, but I wanted to anyway,” said Kristian. “I’ve always wanted to give blood and I thought I might as well do it now.”

“I’m old enough, and I wanted to,” senior Adriana Martinez said about her decision to make her second lifetime donation at Belmont. She sees it as a way to remember and honor her grandmother. “My grandma always got excited when we did this kind of student projects and told her about it.”

Lead The Way - Maidson Robinson 


The Belmont High School spring blood drive was a chance to remind students that the deadline is April 20 to enter the CBC/Vectren Lead The Way Creative Scholarship competition to win $1,000 for college tuition assistance.

Scholarship applicants are challenged to design a winning marketing campaign for a high school blood drive.  They must craft an original theme or slogan, explain why it would encourage students to donate, and creatively express the theme with conventional marketing techniques or innovative, artistic methods.

“I would probably do a song,” said senior Madison Robinson, an NHS member and volunteer who helped check-in students at the Belmont blood drive. “I play a lot of instruments,” she said. “I play piano. I’m learning guitar and ukulele. I dabble!”

Madison has earned a full scholarship to Wright State University, where she may study nursing or perhaps crime investigation. “I just want to help somebody, somehow,” she said.

That includes encouraging her classmates to come up with a musical idea of their own for a Lead The Way Creative Scholarship campaign!

Applications must be postmarked by April 20. Mail applications to:  Community Blood Center, 349 S. Main St., Dayton, OH 45402, Attn. Education Specialist/Lead The Way.  Examples of winning campaigns and the 2018 scholarship application are available at and at your high school. For more information contact Cristina Pickle at


Mary Jo Hinker 100 LTD

Miami Township donor Mary “Jo” Hinker grew up in Shelby County, a community where it is more common to begin donating at an early age and to keep giving often as a “Donor for Life.”  Jo has been on a roll lately, capturing personal goals as a type O negative “universal donor,” and on April 3 she completed the special milestone of her 100th lifetime donation.

With her 100th donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center she added the “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket to her CBC wardrobe.  She came to donate wearing one of the “Four Seasons O Negative Club” vests she earned by making at least four donations in one calendar year. Type O negative is “universal” because any patient in need can receive it.

“This came first,” she said, pointing to the grey vest she was wearing that she earned in 2016. “I just got my navy vest,” she said, the award for 2017. She couldn’t wait to show the 100 donation jacket to her husband Neal.

“My husband donates too,” she said. “So I’m pretty religious about it. We’re both pretty competitive. He has 105 donations. We’re both pretty religious about coming every eight weeks. My son Patrick donates too.”

Jo kept a strong pace the last few years as she drew closer to her 100th donation.  Inspired to make up for lost time, she averaged six donations per year at St. Henry Parish and at CBC. “I took off for a few years when I had cancer,” she said. “Then I got back into it.”

She is retired after 17 years of teaching at First School pre-school in Centerville.  Neal and Jo have two sons and two grandchildren.

Jo was one of six children in her family growing up in Shelby County.  She remembers donating for the first time while a student at Holy Angels High School, which is now Lehman Catholic High School.

“My brother was in a car wreck back when we were in high school,” she said. “It was 1970. My other brother and I went to donate together.”

Her brother survived, and Jo kept donating.  Her type O negative blood has helped an untold number of patients with an emergency need.  CBC has introduced the new “Triple Crown” challenge for type O negative and B negative donors to donate three times in a year.  She’s well on her way to another milestone.


Mike McCracken - UD Afghan winner

March Madness gave us exciting college basketball, and Beavercreek donor Mike McCracken will remember it “warmly.”

Villanova routed Michigan to win the NCAA men’s title, but women’s champ Notre Dame needed a last-second, three-point basket to beat Mississippi State. Mike used a buzzer-beater of his own to win the drawing for Fran Duell’s “UD Afghan.”

The drawing began with the “First Four” games at UD Arena and continued through the end of the Men’s Final Four on Monday, April 2.  Mike took his last-second shot at winning on the final day of the drawing.

“I was just in last night for my plasma donation,” Mike said Tuesday after learning he was the winner. “I saw the picture there, saw a nice looking blanket, and hand-made I assumed.”

The UD Afghan is indeed hand-made by donor Fran Duell. The Flyer-inspired blanket is one of many afghans Fran traditionally creates for CBC and other charitable organizations to use as a prize for donor raffles.

Fran’s UD blankets are distinctive and nostalgic.  Even some die-hard Flyer fans are unaware that UD’s original team colors were not dark blue and red. Back when Fran was a UD student (class of ’66) the team wore light blue and red.

“I follow a little, I’m not a hard core fan, but with UD significant in the area I try to keep up,” said Mike.

Mike makes it a habit to donate at the Dayton CBC, usually after leaving work at nearby GEMCITY Engineering & Manufacturing.  He has been donating for more than 20 years and has 38 lifetime donations “I now try to donate about four times a year,” he said.

Mike used to donate at GEMCITY blood drives.  But he’s been donating plasma at the Dayton CBC since 2012.  His blood type is AB, making him a “universal donor” for plasma.

“I know they use the AB positive plasma for burn patients,” he said. That was kind of neat and got me hooked.  I get that automated call a few days after donating about your plasma being used at a hospital. That makes it real. Every time I donate. That’s cool.”

Mike looked forward to showing the afghan to his wife, and had message for Fran. “Tell Fran thank you! Most likely it will be over the back of the coach, for both of us to use!”