SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The unmistakable aroma of bacon drifting through the hallways of Catholic Central High School served as a warm invitation Monday morning, Nov. 5, reminding students to enjoy a free breakfast before donating at the fall blood drive.
The blood drive was also an opportunity for Community Blood Center to present the $1,000 High School Leadership award for “Most Improved Blood Drive” to blood drive coordinator Leah Short and her Student Council volunteers.
Catholic Central earned the award with a 103 percent increase in blood drive support during the 2017-2018 school year compared the previous year. A key to the growth was Catholic Central returning to a schedule of two annual blood drives.
The CBC Bloodmobile was back on campus for Monday’s blood drive, and students responded with 37 donor registrations, including 20 first-time donors and 32 units donated for 128 percent of collection goal.
“They really wanted to do a good job, planning the breakfast, getting students motivated and promoting the Red Cord,” said Leah, who teaches math and serves as Student Council advisor. “I remember telling them, I’m totally hands-off. This is a lot of work, go for it! They did it all.”
The volunteers set out bottles of Gatorade with each donors name printed on the cap, and bought dozens of Schuler’s Bakery donuts (a Springfield hometown favorite) for the Donor Café. The highlight of the morning was the breakfast. “We made it a very protein-rich breakfast with eggs, more bacon and more sausage!” said Leah.
Emilia DaRosa was one of several senior donors on the Bloodmobile making her second lifetime donation. She wasn’t surprised by the “Most Improved Blood Drive” award.
“I remember it was full last year,” she said. “It was hard to get a spot. It was seniors and upperclassmen first in general.”
Senior Abigail Erter was happy to make her first lifetime donation. “I just wanted to help out people who need help,” she said.
CBC annually awards 1,000 High School Leadership Grants in five categories. Fairmont High School won the “Most Donors” and “Red Cord Excellence” grants. Catholic Central was one of three of the region’s smallest schools to receive awards. Seton Catholic High School and Houston High School won grants for highest and second highest percentage of enrollment donating.
“It’s going straight to Student Council,” Leah said of how Catholic Central will use the $1,000 grant. “They do a lot of student activities, and it will go straight back to the students.”