Fairmont Unity Blood Drive 2018

KETTERING, Ohio – Joining forces with rival Alter to support blood drives and local charities was a new idea at Fairmont High School four years ago.  But donors at the fourth annual “Unity Blood Drive” Oct. 26 in Trent Arena are now pretty familiar with the Community Blood Center/Universal 1 Unity in the Community campaign.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Fairmont and Archbishop Alter High Schools, CBC and Universal 1 Credit Union.  Both schools host fall blood drives and jointly present a $1,000 award sponsored by Universal 1 to a designated charity during halftime of the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

The schools take turns identifying a charity they feel is most deserving of the award.  Alter will choose this year’s recipient.

Friday’s fall blood drive totaled 156 donors, including 72 first-time donors and 126 blood donations. It’s the first step in the 2018-2018 Unity Campaign that will include Alter’s fall blood drive on Nov. 7.

Fairmont blood drives are coordinated by Student Activities Coordinator Corey Miller and Erica Rogers. Allied Health students volunteer as the sponsor group for all Fairmont blood drives. A key responsibility is serving students in the Donor Café and making sure they are recovering well from their donation.

“I’ve always wanted to come and try it,” said first-time donor Christopher Mix.  He’s not surprised by Fairmont’s now four-year commitment to the Unity campaign. “There are a decent number of people at Fairmont that like helping others,” said Christopher. “People I know.”

Fairmont and Alter’s 2017 Unity blood drives totaled 268 donors, including 131 first-time donors and 217 blood donations.  Fairmont chose Camp Kesem as the $1,000 Unity award recipient, a summer camp and peer support program for children with family members fighting cancer.

Fairmont began the new school years as CBC’s regional champion in student blood drive participation and donor loyalty.  Fairmont earned two $1,000 High Leadership grants for 2017-2018 in the top category of “Most Donors” and the “Red Cord Excellence” category for the highest number of graduates who frequently supported blood drives.

It was the second consecutive year Fairmont has won the “Most Donors” grant and the third consecutive year it has won the “Red Cord Excellence” grant.


CBC US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Award

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – In a football rivalry, trailing two touchdowns at half time and winning by a touchdown is a victory for the ages. Piqua trailed rival Troy by 14 “votes” in the 21st annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive, but came from behind to claim its third consecutive blood drive victory by seven votes.

The seven-vote margin was the same as last year’s record-setting blood drive, but the overall blood drive total was even more impressive.  The Miami County rivals not only topped last year’s record they smashed it with a whopping 15 percent increase in donors.

The winner of the $1,000 award from US Bank was announced Friday, Oct. 26 just before Troy and Piqua kicked-off the 134th renewal of their football rivalry.  Both sides can take pride in knowing their combined high school and US Bank community blood drives set new records of 438 donors and 396 units of blood donated, including 148 first-time donors.

Troy emerged from Tuesday’s rival high school blood drives with an early lead of 14 votes.  Troy High School Principal Dave Dilbone is a regular donor at every Troy blood drive, including this year’s Challenge.  “I know you’re supposed to wait 56 days in between,” he laughed, “but I think I tried to donate twice!” He took pride in his students registering 123 donors, a 13 percent increase over last year.

On Thursday it was up to the communities to decide the Challenge outcome by voting at the US Bank blood drives in Troy and Piqua.

The Piqua US Bank blood drive totaled 136 donors, a 39 percent increase over last year. The Troy US Bank blood drive was outstanding as well, totaling 115 donors, an 8.5 percent increase.  But additional appointments available at all blood drives this year gave the Piqua US Bank branch a better chance to stage a come-back.

“It’s always great to be able to outshine Troy,” said Piqua High School Principal Rob Messick, whose school will benefit from the $1,000 prize. “But the best thing is the ability to do something great for the community.  This much support for the whole community – it makes you feel great about being able to do this.”

Piqua increased its lead in the Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive history to 16-4-1.


Piqua US Bank team

The added “challenge” of the 2018 Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive was to top the record-setting performance of last year’s 20th anniversary.  The Miami County rivals not only topped last year’s record the smashed it with a whopping 15 percent increase in donors.

The winner will be announced tonight just before Troy and Piqua kick-off the 134th renewal of their football rivalry.  Both sides can take pride in knowing their combined high school and US Bank community blood drives set new records of 438 donors and 396 units of blood donated, including  148 first-time donors.

Troy emerged from Tuesday’s rival high school blood drives with an early lead of 14 votes.  At stake is the $1,000 check US Bank will award to the winning school.  On Thursday it was up to the communities to decide the Challenge outcome by voting at the US Bank blood drives in Troy and Piqua.


Piqua US Bank branch manager Emily Shawler is a Piqua High graduate, a dedicated blood donor, and the official “coach” of her bank team.  In fact her title “coach” is on the back of the matching dark blue Piqua-Troy Challenge t-shirts her entire team wears on blood drive day.

Bank staff member Aaron Cotes wore his team shirt as he took time from work to donate. “I was a back-up,” said Aaron. “I came up and they had a spot open and it was ‘Let’s do it.’ All good!”

Buffy Walling made her first lifetime donation on one of the Bloodmobiles in the Piqua US Bank parking lot. Going to the game? “Oh yea! My son used to play for Piqua,” she said. Why did she decide to donate for the first time? “Because of ‘Mrs. Shawler’ out there!”

“We’ve known each other since we were itty-bitty,” said Emily. “We’re like family.”

Piqua Kathy Davisson

The sense of family tradition was shared by donor Kathy Davisson, Emily’s high school principal.   She retired in 2010 after 15 years as principal at Piqua, and she can recall the very first Troy-Piqua Challenge in 1998.

“In ’98 they came to Troy Principal Rob Walker and I to talk about giving money to the schools, which is something we really needed.  We had a good run over my time there.”

Piqua leads the series 15-4-1, although it has been a see-saw 3-3 battle the last six years.

“We have won it a lot,” said Kathy. “We really try to get people out and give blood and help the community. It sets a standard, the whole town is involved. It’s a pretty big rivalry.”

There is plenty of evidence the Troy-Piqua rivalry in football and blood drives will inspire generations to come.  Jacqueline Lambert, a staff member at Green St. Daycare,  made her donation with her face painted for Halloween.

“This is for Halloween, we dress up for this,” said Jacqueline. “The kids are all in red and blue!”


Troy Deborah Wildermuth, Jennifer Honeyman


The Troy US Bank blood drive opened with Troy holding a “two touchdown” lead of 14 votes thanks to a strong blood drive turn-out at Troy High School.  To win the Troy-Piqua Challenge, the “challenge” for the Troy US Bank community blood drive Thursday was to keep momentum rolling.

“The bank is so involved in the community,” said US Bank staff member Shelly South after taking a break from work to donate.  “We appreciate the community and causes that are close to us: the blood drive, people with disabilities, working at the nature preserve, all ways to volunteer in the community.”

US Bank’s Deborah Wildermuth has passed the torch of blood drive coordinator to US Bank Troy Branch Manager Jennifer Honeyman.  Deborah came to the blood drive and did a Facebook Live stream of her entire donation.  When bank business finally closed for the day Jennifer was one of the to make her donation and vote for Troy.

Marie Francis saw the big CBC Bloodmobile in front of the US Bank and decided to give her vote. “I hadn’t donated in a long time, and I thought, ’It’s good to go!’” she said.

“My oldest son plays for Troy, so we’re here to support!” said Alena Weaver, with her nine and seven year old sons Reis and Graysen alongside her donor bed.

Tom Klosterman from Sidney cast his vote for Troy with his milestone 100th lifetime donation. “I didn’t think I was going to make it this year because I missed the last blood drive in Piqua,” said Tom. “This gets me back in rotation.”

Tom credited an exercise routine that keeps him healthy for donating and the inspiration of fellow donors at French Oil in Piqua. “People at work, lots of people that have given hundreds of times,” said Tom.

Troy Rep. Steve Huffman, Tom Kosterman

Tom got special congratulations to Miami County Representative Steve Huffman, who was at his home in Tipp City and stopped by the US Bank blood drive.  Rep. Huffman is an emergency room physician and lifelong blood donor who sponsored House Bill 252 to designate January “Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month.”  It became law in February and will be celebrated for the first time in January 2019.

“There’s a natural rivalry between the two towns and the high schools that are so close,” said Rep. Huffman. “It’s good to see them come together for such a great common cause, and see them fighting for the need for blood. There’s no barrier between people who will give or need blood in Miami County.”

That’s a message deep in the heart of first-time donor Heather Wolford from Troy.

“I was born in Troy, graduated from Troy High School and still live in Troy,” said Heather.  “I donated because my daughter Adalynn is a cancer survivor. She’s six now. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at two years old. She had a tumor growing on her spine.”

Heather recalled that Adalynn received multiple blood product transfusions, including eight plasma transfusions during her treatment.

“She’s cancer free now. She’s in kindergarten and thriving!” said Heather.  “Every year since she was diagnosed I tried to donate. This is my first successful year giving blood!”

Adalynn, though only six, has her own inspiration.  “She wants to be a doctor, an oncologist,” said Heather.  “She has a good heart.”

Troy Heather Wolford 1 LTD


Troy High Challenge Red Cord 2018-19

Piqua has a history of dominating the CBC/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive, but in recent years the competition has been a true tug-of-war.  The 21st Challenge got underway Tuesday with blood drives at the rival high schools, with Troy yanking hard on the Challenge trophy and claiming the early lead.

Troy registered 123 donors, a hefty 13 percent increase over last year’s blood drive total. Meanwhile Piqua registered a respectful 109 donors, but allowed Troy to take 14 vote lead into Thursday’s deciding community blood drives at the US Bank branches in Troy and Piqua.

“We did everything we could think of to try to fill our slots,” said Angie Anderson, blood drive coordinator and advisor to the ASTRA club, the student sponsor organization for Troy’s blood drives.

Since Troy’s upset win in the 2012 Challenge the rivals have a battled to a 3-3 record, with Piqua winning the last two Challenges and the $1,000 award from US Bank.  At Tuesday’s blood drives Piqua totaled 89 units donated and 47 first-time donors. Troy totaled 99 units and 48 first-time donors.

“One of the ASTRA girls talked about how she donated last year and got the phone call when they say your blood was used,” said Angie. “She said they actually used my blood and it was for an infant. She was so excited about it.  You just gave someone a chance, you helped save a life. That’s awesome.”

Knowing that the Troy blood drive was going well was music to the ears of senior Jenna Rice, who made her second lifetime donation Tuesday.

“I play in the band and we were just out practicing before I came in,” said Jenna. She’s a mellophone player and practice has focused on a night of harmony with rival Piqua at Friday’s football game.

“I’m hoping for a pretty good game,” she said. “The bands are playing together. We’ll play each other’s fight song, the Star Spangled Banner and the military anthems.”

The Troy-Piqua Challenge continues Thursday with the US Bank blood drives, and the competition will be less harmonious.

“Game on!” said US Bank Piqua Manager Emily Shawler, who donated at the Piqua High School blood drive. “We’re confident we’re going to pull it out!” said April Watson, Piqua blood drive coordinator and advisor of the Interact Club student sponsor organization.

Piqua sophomore Asia Burge turned 16 Tuesday, just in time to make her first donation as a vote for Piqua. “I’ve always wanted to do it,” said Asia. “My mom’s been donating forever.  Everybody knows about it and I hope we win.”

“It’s on!” said Emily. “We’re close to being full but we need alternates.  Anyone who would like to come and be our back-up – please, bring it on!”

Piqua High Challenge Trophy



Tami Bower family

Xenia donor Tami Bower dedicated her first 100 lifetime donations in memory of her father.  She began work on the next milestone with her 101st donation Oct. 10 at the Dayton Community Blood Center and the same commitment in her heart.

Tami grew up in Beavercreek and graduated Beavercreek High School in 1980.  She first donated at mobile blood drives while working summer jobs at Monarch Marking systems, where her dad Chalmer “Chet” Sidenstick worked for 43 years.

“That’s where I started,” said Tami. “My dad always gave. He was a really neat person. He realized that if you could give to someone that was a great thing to do.”

Tami shared the inspiration with her three daughters who all started donating while at Beavercreek High School.  Three generations of the family came to the Dayton CBC for Tami’s 100th donation on Aug. 11, including her 91-year-old mother Bubbles Sidenstick, daughters Nickie Matus, Christie Fowler with son Caleb, and Brittany Elliott with husband Matt.

While Tami reached her milestone, Brittany made her 20th lifetime donation and Nickie made her 40th.  They all wore t-shirts made from a photo of Chet singing with his barbershop group “Music Men of the Miami Valley.”

Tami is a type O-negative “Universal Donor” who averages six donations a year. She was back to routine on Oct. 10, making her fifth donation of 2018.  She wrote a dedication to her father, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 86.

“As a child my dad was stricken with polio, causing him to be in and out of the hospital throughout his childhood,” she said. “The disease made him a stronger person and taught him the need to give back. Throughout his adult life he gave on a regular basis.”

Chet had to stop donating when he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  Side effects of the treatment caused internal bleeding.

“It was during this time that all three of my girls and I started donating in his name,” said Tami. “The process of giving blood is simple and takes approximately one hour of your time every eight weeks.

“Make a difference in someone’s life,” Tami said. “You never know… someday that difference might be one of your family members.”


Light The Night Survivors Circle

KETTERING, Ohio – Kettering eighth grader Gabe Duplechan is an Honored Hero of the 2018 Dayton Light The Night Walk, and it was his job to lead a crowd of 3,000 walkers away from the bright lights of the Fraze Pavilion and into a pitch black October night.

He had no idea where he was taking them.

But Gabe’s a blood cancer survivor, so he’s got this. “I don’t know,” he said as marched with confidence toward an uncertain path, “but I guess we’ll figure it out along the way!”

Most of the lantern carriers who joined the Oct. 18 walk to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society know what it means to counter uncertainty with confidence.  Those carrying glowing red lanterns are the support troops for survivors like Gabe, who carry white lanterns high.  Those honoring the memory of lost loved ones hold lanterns of gold.  They all carry hope for a cure.

“Thanks to LLS I am here tonight,” three-time cancer survivor and former Dayton walk chairman Bob Reynolds told the crowd. “Thank you for being here tonight, for helping Light The Night, and thank you for giving hope to so many people.”

“For sure we’ll reach $350,000,” said LLS Dayton Area Director Cris Pederson of the 2018 Dayton Light The Night fundraising. “We have a very good chance of getting to our $400,000 goal.”

Dayton Walk Chairman Anita Adams-Jenkins announced Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Center as 2018’s top corporate team with more than $29,000 in fundraising.

“Remember the Fallen, Fight the War(ner)” was the top Friends and Family team with $13,497.  Past Dayton Walk chairman Donnie Hill, who was honored by LLS with the Chairman’s Special Recognition Award, was the top individual fundraiser with more than $15,000 donated.

In all the applause for the success, in all the emotions of the “Survivors Circle” and triumphant walk into the night, there was also the quiet voice of Addy Henderson.  The Kettering seventh-grader is a leukemia survivor and co-Honored Hero of the Dayton Light The Night Walk.

“It feels nice to show everyone that I survived,” said Addy as she matched strides with Gabe.

It was the first Light The Night Walk for the Napper family from Beavercreek.  Their son J.J. was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February.  He turned five in July.

“He’s got a good prognosis,” said J.J.’s mom Carrie. “He’s in the 85 to 90 percent range. It’s the other bit that keeps you up at night.”

J.J.’s six-year old sister Myah carried a sign she made that spoke for the whole family:  “I hope J.J.’s leukemia goes away.”

“We hate the reason for having to be here,” said Carrie. “But I feel the support already.”

Robyn Thomas from the “#mamathomas” team laughed as her daughter Gwyn helped tie her red “Survivor” Superman cape around her shoulders.

“On October 13 I was two years in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she said.  She carries a white lantern as a survivor, but also a gold lantern for her mother, Sue Roddy.

“I went into remission and my mother was diagnosed.  She had multiple myeloma and passed away just over a year ago.”

It’s Robyn’s third Light The Night Walk, and she’s proud of her team’s fundraising. “Last year it was $2,000 and we decided to double it to $4,000. We’re right at it.”

As another Light The Night ended teams gathered for final photos.  One family walked as “Team Curt” to honor Curt Lindstrom.

“My dad,” said Carley Lindstrom, “We just lost him September 2.  Stage four non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

During Curt’s battle with lymphoma Carley became a volunteer on the LLS Executive Committee and participated in the LLS Man and Woman of the Year.

Her father faced an uncertain journey.  They fought together as a family with confidence.  Their faith in finding a cure is unshaken, but this Light The Night was poignant.

“We held a gold lantern this year,” she said. “We were really hoping it would be red.”


Gift card winner Sharon Holdheide

FORT LORAMIE, Ohio – Sharon Holdheide is one of the hundreds of Fort Loramie donors who help make the Community Blood Center blood drives at St. Michael’s Hall the largest in Shelby County.  But she’s the only St. Michael’s donor to claim the grand prize in the “Build a Better Blood Supply Summer Blood Drive” campaign.

Everyone who registered to donate blood with CBC from May 29 through Sept. 1 was automatically entered in the drawing to win the $5,000 home improvement gift card.  By the end of summer there were nearly 19,000 entries.

Sharon entered the drawing when she donated June 19 at the St. Michael’s Hall “Country Fun Blood Drive.”  It was her 69th lifetime blood donation, and it turned out to be very lucky. Her name was randomly chosen by computer as the contest winner.

“I started donating blood when I was 16 years old,” said Sharon.  “My dad always donated and encouraged us to as well. Those of us that could always tried to help out.”

Her husband Dave also came from a family of donors, and their children Emily and Alan donate.

“It always felt great to hit a gallon milestone and to know we were helping someone out,” said Sharon. “We might need blood sometime and I’ll sure be glad someone donated to save one of our lives.”

CBC’s Kathy Pleiman presented the $5,000 Lowe’s gift card to Sharon and her daughter Emily at the Oct. 16 St. Michael’s Hall blood drive.  Neighbors and Fort Loramie Community Service Club volunteers celebrated her good fortune.

“Shut the front door!” exclaimed Chandra Goubeaux. “That’s awesome. Somebody we know!”

“That’s exciting,” said Angie DeMange. “I don’t know why I play the lottery. I never win!”

The goal of the “Build a Better Blood Supply” blood drive was to help CBC maintain a steady blood supply through the challenging summer months.  That mission was accomplished with more than 16,000 units donated. Now the grand prize will help the Holdheide family make some home improvements.

“It’s very exciting,” said Sharon. “We walked around Lowe’s one Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours and got a couple of ideas.  We’re going to do some new hardwood flooring, and get something for Emily who just bought a house.

“They’re going to give me a lawn mower, which is good because I need one!” said Emily as she donated at St. Michael’s.  “I’ve been borrowing theirs!”

The St. Michael’s fall blood drive reached 100 percent of the collection goal with 235 donors, including 230 whole blood donations and 15 platelet and plasma donations.