GREENVILLE, Ohio – Summer lingers for the annual Great Darke County Fair. Farm chores, even back to school, are put on hold for nine glorious days in “Great Fair-yland.” The 10th annual Community Blood Center “T-Shirt Day” came midway through the fair on Aug. 22, a day with temperatures so unseasonably mild it suggested even the Fair will soon give way to fall.
Donors made sure to wear their favorite CBC t-shirt on “T-Shirt Day” so they could stop by the CBC tent and register for door prizes. The grand prize of a “Family Fun Pack” of four tickets to Kings Island went to Kris Shelley from Greenville.
CBC Darke County Account Representative Dana Puterbaugh set the goal of 300 donors visiting the tent wearing CBC t-shirts and came close with a head count of 250 donors. Greenville was again the best-represented town with 100 donors, followed by Arcanum with 24 and Versailles with 22.
It wouldn’t be T-Shirt Day without a visit by Ivan Patterson wearing his vintage “1st Apheresis Lifeleader Event June 28, 1992” t-shirt. “It’s my favorite t-shirt,” said Ivan, and he has plenty. The retired founder of Korrect Plumbing is a CBC pioneer platelet and plasma donor. He made his milestone 500th lifetime donation in January and turned 91 in February.
Ivan now has 511 lifetime donations, and is still collecting t-shirts.
New Madison donor Jack Wyne wore the “Iron Donor” t-shirt, but he couldn’t name his favorite. “That’s a good question, I just grab one,” he said. Jack’s wife Mary knew her favorite: “The one that says ‘Believe.’”
Jim and Carol Holsapple from Arcanum wore their favorites: “American Spirit” for Carol and “Buckeye Blood Donor” for Jim. Asked what makes “the Great Darke County Fair” so great, Jim said, “The size of it,” and Carol added, “The animals and all the children involved.”
Donor Garry Jenkinson from Greenville named his favorite t-shirt as, “Kiss me, I’m Irish from St. Patrick’s Day. I’m Irish, and I’m a blood donor.” As to what makes the fair great, his son Evan, with his face painted like a puppy dog and an icy snow cone in hand said, “The snow cones and the dipping dots.”
“My favorite donor t-shirt is the last one I got,” said Melissa Oswalt from Union City. What makes the fair so great? “Community,” she said.
Bill Fraley and his son Caleb had rabbits to sell and ice to find, but stopped by the CBC tent with Bill wearing the “Stars and Stripes” t-shirt from this summer. Bill’s favorite t-shirts are “anything to do with the military.”
Caleb was quick to say “the food” makes the fair great. His dad Bill summed it up best: “I get to see everybody and talk to everybody and have a great time.”