Larry Smith 360 LTD

It’s a source of pride for Dayton donor Larry Smith to remember his induction into the 2015 Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame. He made his 296th lifetime blood donation as he received the award.

Larry was back at the Dayton CBC on Sept. 6 for one of his more routine visits. He quietly went about donating platelets for his 360th lifetime donation. “I turned 80 on the Fourth of July,” Larry said, to mention another milestone.  He does have a lingering item on his bucket list.  He still hopes to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

“I ran the distance equal to three times around the world – the most for a blind runner,” Larry said. “I’m sure there a lot of people that have run more than that, but not someone who is totally blind. I wrote to them but never heard back.”

It’s rare to hear Larry ever qualify himself as a blind person.  His remarkable life has been about overcoming obstacles and surviving situations that would seem insurmountable to anyone.

CBC’s nomination of Larry for the Hall of Fame included the account of how he braved a winter storm on the day after Christmas in 2012 so he could make his scheduled blood donation. His Hall of Fame recognition led to interviews and profiles in local newspapers and television reports.

Now many across the Miami Valley know Larry’s story. He was blind at birth and left abandoned as an infant on the steps of a state orphanage.  He was in poor health as a child and his suffering was made worse by the brutality of the orphanage workers.

Larry was rescued and nurtured by the kindness of a new house mother and a reform movement at the home.  His health improved and he made his way in the world as a Dayton hospital darkroom worker, marathon runner, choir singer, and blood donor.

It’s been a long time since Larry has hit the road as a marathon runner.  He no longer walks outdoors by himself because of trouble with balance and occasional dizziness.  But he maintains his disciplined routine of running on a treadmill in his apartment.

“I’m well on my way to my fourth time around the world, but I still have a ways to go,” he said.

With the help of transportation by Project Mobility, he also keeps pace with his blood donation routine. He made a single platelet donation during his Sept. 6 visit and said, “I have hopes of making a double sometime.”

Hope burns like a bright flame in the darkness for Larry Smith.  He may not see it, but he somehow knows it’s there. It guides him and he follows.  It’s a gift the Guinness Book of World Records has no way to measure.


Greek Week 2017 donor John Freim

OXFORD, Ohio – Greeks at Miami University are spreading the word that “Greek Week is Coming at You Live” Sept. 23-29.  Again for the 40th year, the heart of the celebration will be a chance to save lives at the Sept. 25-26 Greek Week Blood Drive.

The 40th annual Greek Week Blood Drive is Tuesday, Sept. 25 and Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For the first time the blood drive will take place in the Armstrong Student Center Donald W. Fritz Pavilion at 550 East Spring St., Oxford.

The inspirational “Be The Good” stoneware coffee mug is a gift to everyone who registers to donate.  Schedule an appointment with Community Blood Center online at or call 1-800-388-GIVE and use sponsor code 274.

Greek life at Miami dates backs to 1833, earning it the nickname “Mother of Fraternities.”  The Greeks made Miami the birthplace of CBC college blood drives with the first Greek Week Blood Drive in 1978.

By 2001 Miami had expanded to 12 blood drives a year, an achievement that earned national recognition from America’s Blood Centers. It became a two-day blood drive in 2007 and is still the largest in the region, and CBC’s longest-standing blood drive partner.

“I am never surprised but always impressed to learn of our students’ service to others,” said Miami President Gregory Crawford. “This 40th anniversary of Greek Week being the largest annual blood drive for the Community Blood Center marks a little-known tradition for Miami – one with life-saving implications. I encourage those who haven’t yet tried donating to also ‘roll up their sleeves’ for this great cause, remembering that every pint one gives helps save the lives of one-to-three people.”

In the 2017-2018 academic year Miami hosted eight student-sponsored blood drives, six Faculty and Staff sponsored blood drives, and the two-day Greek Week Blood Drive – a total of 16 days dedicated to helping save lives.  They totaled 1,273 donors, including 454 first-time donors and 957 units of blood donated.

Greek Week combines community service and competition, with fraternities and sororities able to win points toward the overall Greek Week title by recruiting donors for the blood drive. But it is primarily a campus-wide celebration with the blood drive open to all students, faculty and staff.

“Many Miami students have donated in high school, but last year 119 Greek Week donors were donating for the first time,” said CBC Account Representative Sandy Baur. “Many will continue to donate throughout their lives.  Miami Greeks have helped establish a rich history of community service, helping others, and saving thousands of lives.”