Midmark 5K Donation Celebration

In the late hours of a cold and snowy “Giving Tuesday,” Nov. 27, at the Midmark Versailles location, donors on the night shift at Midmark Corp. gave a bit more and reached a substantial milestone. Before the clock struck midnight, Midmark celebrated its 5,000th employee blood donation.

The countdown to the moment began in 2011 when Midmark hosted three Community Blood Center blood drives, allowing teammates (employees) to take time to donate while on the clock. By 2013, the number increased to 16, including night shift blood drives for the first time. Midmark now averages 18 blood drives per year.

The celebrated 5,000th donation in Midmark’s long history of giving came from one of its newest teammates. Mason Kuhn is a 2016 Piqua High School graduate who started work on the late shift just four weeks ago. He helped Midmark reach the milestone with his first lifetime donation.

Kuhn learned of the blood drive at Midmark. He stated, “I never gave blood before. I figured, why not make it the first thing I do tonight? So, I came in tonight and gave blood for the first time.”

Though new to Midmark, he soon learned about the culture of giving back to the community. “Midmark is loyal to giving back,” he said. “I like that. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

“Paying it forward, giving back is a big part of the culture of the company,” said Mitch Eiting, global philanthropic and corporate giving manager for Midmark. “That’s why we allow the donations to happen on company time. The teammates appreciate it and we appreciate it. It’s something we can do for the greater good. It’s the way we are.”

“It’s about saving lives,” said night shift worker Isabelle Crowe from Arcanum, who only recently returned from maternity leave and made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday night. “I love this company,” she said. “The blood drives show Midmark’s willingness to help.”

Eiting can be found serving juice and cookies to donors at every blood drive, including the night shift.  The Giving Tuesday blood drive had the added treat of bright red cupcakes and noise-makers to celebrate the 5,000th donation milestone. “We started in 2011,” said Eiting. “When I started adding up the numbers about a month ago, it became evident how many potential lives our teammates saved.”

Eiting and CBC Account Representative Dana Puterbaugh calculated Midmark would reach 5,000 donations during their 114th blood drive on Giving Tuesday. It’s the equivalent of 625 gallons with the potential to save three times as many lives.

“That’s a big deal,” said Eiting.  “We’re doing something. We’re making a difference.”

Mason Kuhn, Mitch Eiting, Connie Eilerman


Richard Brenneman 150 LTD


Troy donor and retired Wayne High School art teacher and volleyball coach Richard “Dick” Brenneman celebrated Nov. 27 “Giving Tuesday” by giving his milestone 150th lifetime blood donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

Richard taught 35 year in the Hubert Heights Schools system.  He was head girls’ volleyball coach at Wayne and started the first boys’ volleyball program in the early 90’s.  He also coached for Tipp City Schools.

“That’s how I got started donating blood,” said Richard. “Because our teachers’ association would donate as a group or if you couldn’t donate, try to ask someone who could. It never bothered me to donate. I was busy coaching so I would only donate about once a year, but then I would donate more often.  I saw I was eligible and thought I would come down today.”

Richard and his wife Mary Ann, an audiologist in Springfield, have been married 37 years and have two daughters.  Dick and Mary Ann recently moved from Tipp City to Troy. Their oldest daughter Julia lives in Tipp City and is expecting the first grandchild in January.

Richard is dedicated to donating when eligible and averages six whole blood donations per year. He reached his milestone 150th with his sixth donation of 2018.

“It’s something that doesn’t bother me at all to do it,” he said. “It’s something I can do and a way to give back. I still like getting those little phone calls about when and where your blood was used. You know somebody used it and it makes it worthwhile.”



Micah, Monica Overby with Larry

SIDNEY, Ohio – Buckeye fans had an extra bounce in their step as they entered the Sidney American Legion Post on “Giving Tuesday,” Nov. 27.  They were greeted with “O-H” and answered “I-O” as they signed in to donate at the OSU Alumni Club of Shelby County and Farm Bureau Women’s Committee “Buckeye Blood Drive.”

It was the second year of co-sponsoring the blood drive and two groups go together like the Scarlet and Gray.  Last year the blood drive took place during rival week before the Ohio State-Michigan game. This year came after “The Game” and Buckeye fans could bask in the glory of a surprisingly dominant win that catapulted them into Saturday’s Big 10 Championship.

“This is perfect!” said alumni club volunteer Paula Coder. “We won and everybody is upbeat. After the big win on Saturday it’s something to celebrate, that’s for sure!”

It also boosted enthusiasm to have two well-known Buckeyes boosters visiting the blood drive for the second year.  Super fan “OSU Buckeyeman” Larry Lokai gave away homemade buckeye necklaces as door prizes and Coach Jim Tressel look-alike Dennis “Tress” Singleton schooled donors on Buckeye football history.

“Tress” met his match in Buckeye lore when trading stories with donor and alumni club volunteer Brooks Ware.  Brook was 13 years old when he traveled with his family from Sidney to Columbus for the 1950 OSU-Michigan game, known as the infamous “Snow Bowl.”

“We left at the end of the third quarter,” recalled Brook. “It was snowing so hard you couldn’t see anything. We didn’t get home until Monday morning. We got within 15 miles and stopped in the middle of the road, stuck in the snow. We walked to a farm house. They took us in and another family and we stayed there two nights. We got home Monday and school was out the whole next week.”

Larry first appeared in his alter ego of “Buckeyeman” at the 1998 OSU-Michigan game. It would shock most to know that the energetic super fan is age 76. “I started my 21st year,” he said. “It’s not like I’m getting old!”  He made a sign for the TV cameras boldly predicting an Ohio State win.

“I believe you have to have confidence,” said Larry. “With Urban Meyer, if you make him an underdog, you’re in trouble.”

In the Donor Cafe donors talked more about the food than the game. The women’s committee served chicken salad sandwiches, homemade cookies, and of course chocolate-covered Buckeyes.

“I love them,” said Sidney donor Carolyn Miller.  “I like anything with peanut butter!”

“For us, collaborating with the Farm Bureau women works,” said alumni club member and blood drive coordinator Roger Bender. “They’re not going to be able to do it that much longer.”


The alumni club also faces the challenge of recruiting new members. “I enjoy this,” said President Tina Hottle. “I wish we had more people to help. It might be that we partner with someone else.”

“It’s been Avery positive thing for the club,” said club secretary Helen Ward. “This location gets a lot of people out.”

It wasn’t the “Snow Bowl” but donors braved below-freezing temperatures and snow showers to support the blood drive.  It totaled 133 donors, including 119 whole blood donations and 10 platelet and plasma donations.

OSU Alumni Club blood drive



Alisha Burcham donating

CENTERVILLE, Ohio – It was back during the heat of summer that Alisha Burcham began recruiting donors for a new blood drive to celebrate the City of Centerville’s 50th anniversary and also support her infant son Jake.  Snowflakes were flying Monday, Nov. 26 as donors filled the Centerville Police Department and Alisha talked about Jake looking forward to a bright Christmas.

Alisha is a Centerville staff engineer who saw the 50th anniversary blood drive with Community Blood Center as a chance to honor the past and “pay it forward.” Jake was born Nov. 7, 2017 after a troubled pregnancy and had four blood transfusions before he was two months old.

Jake received his first transfusions when Alisha was still pregnant as treatment for hemolytic anemia. He was born Nov. 7, 2017 and spent six days in the neonatal intensive care unit. “So to pay it forward and maybe save someone else’s son, I wanted to hold a blood drive,” Alisha said.

She recruited friends and co-workers, and signed up to make her first lifetime donation. “Probably 70 percent are donating for the first time,” she said.  “It’s been going well. We’ve had quite a few walk-ins.”

Her hard work paid off with 44 donors, including 13 first-time donors and 37 blood donations.

“This has been on my calendar for months,” said donor Jennifer Wilder, a former co-worker who is now with the City of Oakwood.  “She sent me a reminder and I wanted to make sure I did it. She was pregnant when I was working there. She went through a lot and I know it means a lot to her.”

“I signed up during the summer,” said University of Dayton senior Taylor Schindler, a former summer intern who made her first lifetime donation Monday. “That’s the reason I signed on. It’s different when it’s personal.”

“It’s hard to say no,” said Centerville staff worker C.T. Houser, as he made his first donation. “Nothing wrong with giving a little bit of blood. It’s needed.”

Alisha was glad to report that Jake celebrated his first birthday in good health and with a big plastic “Cozy Coupe” car.  “He could live in it,” she said. “He never wants out!”   As for his second Christmas, “He notices the lights probably the most and loves the food!”

The blood drive is one of Centerville’s final 50th anniversary events before the grand anniversary celebration Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Centerville Tree Lighting Ceremony.


Wendell Clark 680 LTD

As Thanksgiving Day nears, it’s hard to imagine how many patients owe thanks to Eaton donor Wendell Clark.

Community Blood Center’s all-time top blood donor just celebrated another milestone on his remarkable journey as a “Donor for Life.” Wendell’s platelet donation on Nov. 18 marked his 680th lifetime donation, the equivalent of 85 gallons of giving.

Wendell last made headlines on Dec. 12, 2016 when he was inducted into the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame while making his 628th lifetime donation.

Wendell had been CBC’s top active donor since 2010. He became CBC’s “Top Donor of All Time” with his 602nd lifetime donation in 2013.

Wendell’s next goal is to become the first CBC donor to reach 700 lifetime donations.  But he allowed himself a moment to reflect on his 680 milestone.  He said the turning point came when Collection Services Director Kay Ollech recruited him to become a platelet and plasma donor.

“When Kay asked me to start doing this, I had no idea I’d be doing number 680 today,” Wendell said. “That’s when it really snowballed.”

Wendell’s AB positive blood type made him an ideal plasma and platelet donor.  “I said, do you prefer I only do platelets and plasma?  They said if I would, they would love it.” He was soon making the maximum 24 platelet donations per year, plus plasma donations.

An amazing footnote to his donor record is that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. He underwent successful surgery and was deferred from donating for two years.  Nearly two years to the minute from that surgery he was back in a CBC donor bed making his 609th lifetime donation.

“Since my prostate surgery I’ve been coming every two weeks,” he said.

Wendell routinely donates after leaving work at Neaton Auto Products Manufacturing in Eaton.  That schedule will soon change because he plans to retire Feb. 1, 2019 after more than 31 years with Neaton.

He will focused more than ever on reaching 700 donations sometime in 2019.



MVCTC Red Cord 2018-19

ENGLEWOOD, OHIO – Thanksgiving week is truly the season of giving at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.  Many students are in training for careers in healthcare and they consider it a common cause to rally support for the annual Thanksgiving week blood drive.

MVCTC’s Tuesday, Nov. 20 blood drive boosted the Community Blood Center holiday blood supply by registering 206 donors for 122 percent of the collection goal.  The 168 units donated was a 15 percent increase over last year’s fall blood drive, and the 101 first-time donors represented a 20 percent jump.

“Thanksgiving is a busy time when people need blood because so many people are traveling,” said blood drive coordinator Paula Wathen. “We always schedule it for this week, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It’s a yearly event for us.”

HOSA Future Health Professionals is the traditional student sponsor group for the blood drive.  MVCTC hosts two blood drives during the school year and in 2017-2018 totaled 410 donors, including 150 first-time donors and 297 donations for 112 percent of collection goals.

Biotechnology Program instructor and HOSA advisor Erin Moden sees her lab converted into a bustling Donor Room for the blood drive with HOSA members serving as volunteers.

Pre-nursing student Eme Maxon from Milton-Union High School made her third lifetime donation Tuesday. “I want to be a pediatric nurse, she said. “I love children.  I want to save lives. I’m O positive and saving a life always feels good.”

Miranda McClurg is a senior from Versailles High School in the MVCTC Allied Health Program and hopes to become a CareFlight nurse.  She made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday.  She said part of her dedication comes from being a “Universal Donor.”

“I’m O negative, so I feel like I have to,” she said. “But I like donating too, the fact that I can help everyone.”

McKenzie Oehlerts, a junior from Tippecanoe High School, is a Health Occupation student and wants to be a surgeon someday. She made her second lifetime donation and said, “I’m an organ donor too.”

HOSA member Melina Valdivia was one of the 101 first-time donors at Tuesday’s blood drive. “I just like helping others out!” she said.

MVCTC received a CBC High School Leadership grant in 2015 for “Red Cord Excellence,” an indicator of strong student support at multiple blood drives.  The class of 2015 had 96 graduates who qualified for the CBC Red Cord Honor Program by registering to donate at least three times during their high school career.

Eme Maxon 3 LTD


Miamisburg High Unity Blood Drive

MIAMISBURG, Ohio – Rivals Miamisburg and West Carrollton High Schools are joining forces again to help others during the season of giving.  Their fifth annual “Unity in the Community” campaign got underway Nov. 16 with the Miamisburg High Unity Blood Drive.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Miamisburg and West Carrollton High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  The schools host fall blood drives and jointly present a $1,000 award sponsored by Universal 1 to a designated charity.

Miamisburg and West Carrollton launched the first Unity Campaign in 2014.  Now eight schools are taking part.  The 2018-2019 campaign is off to a strong support.  Miamisburg’s Unity Blood Drive totaled 193 donors, a 21 increase over last year. First-time donors numbered 126, an 18 percent increase.

“We enjoy this event every year,” said Miamisburg Student Government advisor and blood drive coordinator Jenny Brockert. “Being able to give back to the community with the blood drive as well as a financial donation makes it more than worthwhile!”

“I’ve had family members that received blood,” said Samuel Southerland, a senior who made his second lifetime donation.  “I wanted to give back.  West Carrollton and Miamisburg are close communities.  I think it is great that we are working together to give back to the community.”

The schools alternate designating the charity to receive the Unity Award. Last year the Miamisburg Student Government continued the tradition of supporting Care House of Dayton community advocacy center for victims of abuse and neglect.

West Carrollton will choose this year’s Unity Award recipient and make the presentation during halftime of the Dec. 11 Miamisburg-West Carrollton basketball game.

“This is an excellent way to help people in need,” said Student Body President Joi Dean.

“It is so awesome to help save lives and make money for other organizations in the community,” said Keala McCurry.

“This was my first donation,” said senior Josie Osborne. “I wanted to save a life. “

West Carrollton High School will host its Unity Blood Drive on Dec 13.