Aimee HaskinsA hot and clammy Friday the 13th for the mid-summer Kettering Unity in Community Blood Drive at Trent Arena couldn’t jinx the joint effort between neighboring rivals Alter and Fairmont.  It served as a sizzling start to the fourth annual Community Blood Center/Universal 1 Credit Union Unity Campaign.

Despite the high temperatures the July 13 blood drive totaled 146 donors, including 31 first-time donors and 104 blood donations.

The summer blood drive serves as the kick-off for the 2018-2019 “Unity in the Community” Campaign.  The schools work together to help save lives by hosting fall blood drives; then help improve lives in the local community by jointly choosing a recipient for the $1,000 Unity Award sponsored by Universal 1.

Many students and families were encouraged by the choice of a free Kings Island ticket as a donor gift when they registered to donate.  Students who had participated in previous Unity campaigns were excited about focusing on fall and a new chance to help the community.

“I have a lot of Alter friends, and they compete in everything,” said Fairmont student Rae Melowic who made her second lifetime donation at the Unity blood drive. “I think this is pretty cool that instead of a competition it’s working together on something that helps someone.”

In the 2017-2018 Unity campaign the Fairmont and Alter blood drives totaled 268 donors, including 131 first-time donors and 217 blood donations.  Fairmont’s choice for the Unity Award was Camp Kesem, a summer camp and peer support program for children with family members fighting cancer.

Friday was one last chance to support the Unity campaign for donors Matthew Weisman and Anna Lechleiter, both 2018 Alter graduates.   “I like it, I like the idea,” they said. “After all, it’s for a good cause. There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition!”

Fairmont’s Unity blood drive will be Oct. 26 followed by Alter’s on Nov. 7.  Alter will choose the Unity Award recipient with the presentation at the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.


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