SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The inaugural January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month is off to a strong start in Springfield with a new Community Blood Center blood drive at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

Springfield Regional began the New Year with its first community blood drive Wednesday, Jan. 3. The hospital will host blood drives on the first or second Thursday of every other month (every eight weeks) from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Garden Level conference room across from Garden Café.

Springfield Regional Medical Center is at 100 Medical Center Drive and donors can schedule an appointment at

CBC’s strategic goals for 2019 announced during January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month include identifying and recruiting new platelet and plasma donors.  This includes expanding opportunities for platelet and plasma donations at community blood drives, including the Springfield Regional blood drives.

Platelets and plasma are vital to the treatment of cancer, organ transplant, burn, and trauma patients. New platelet donors are in high demand, especially those with blood types A, AB, or B positive.  Donors can find out more at  or talk to an apheresis specialist at (937) 461-3220.

“I was just walking by and saw the sign,” hospital lab technologist John Stout said after donating at the Jan. 3 blood drive.  His work in the lab makes him familiar with how often blood is used at the hospital.  He was encouraged to become a platelet or plasma donor because his AB blood type makes him an ideal donor.

“I didn’t know you had it here today,” John said. “It’s easy for me next time to give platelets and plasma.”

Larry Moorman from Springfield is a regular platelet donor.  He wore colorful holiday socks, a donor gift from CBC, while making his 117th lifetime donation at the new Springfield Regional blood drive.

“I go back to the days when my father donated and started me, and I gave in the military,” said Larry. He began donating platelets and became even more dedicated after a two-year deferment from donating as he received treatment for prostate cancer.

“Cancer,” said Larry. “When you hear that word you think, ‘This could be it.’”

Cindy Hawkins from Springfield made her first lifetime donation at the Jan. 3 blood drive. She went back to school to become a nurse late in her career and now works in the pulmonary unit at Miami Valley Hospital.  She talked about why she was inspired to become a donor.

“I was on a cruise, and we were in the middle of the ocean when a passenger needed blood,” she said. “I thought, I’m a nurse and I don’t even know my blood type. You want to help and you can’t, but some on the ship were able to.  Now I administer blood to patients, and today is my first day donating.”

cindy hawkins donating


Beginning Jan. 14, 2019 the Maiden Lane Church of God at 1201 Maiden Lane will host a blood drive on the second Monday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Beginning Jan. 15, 2019 the First Christian Church of Springfield at 3638 Middle Urbana Road will host a blood drive on the third Tuesday of every month from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

springfield regional mc





cbc honored donors

DAYTON, Ohio – Community Blood Center officially kicked-off the first state-wide celebration of January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month Friday, Jan. 4 with a call for more people to join a new generation of blood donors in 2019 and beyond.

CBC Chief Operating Officer Jodi Minneman thanked Rep. Steve Huffman of Miami County, an ER physician and lifetime blood donor, for sponsoring House Bill 252 to declare January “Blood Donor Awareness Month.”  CBC gave proponent testimony before the House and Senate Health Committees and the bill was signed into law on Feb. 8, 2018.

“We’re here today to thank Steve Huffman and endorse the legislation’s stated goals,” said Minneman. “We want to raise awareness about the necessity of blood donations, to encourage more people to donate, and to honor all donors for helping save the lives of fellow Ohioans.”

Minneman also announced CBC’s top strategic goal for 2019 of identifying and recruiting more platelet and plasma donors. These blood components are critical for the care of trauma patients, cancer patients, transplant, and burn patients.

She emphasized the need for a new generation of donors to take the place of lifetime donors who are approaching an age when they many no longer be able to donate, and might eventually need blood.

“We ask anyone who has never given blood to consider donating for the first time,” she said.  “And if you are already a donor, consider giving one more time than you may have planned.”

Several honored guests of CBC spoke at the kick-off celebration:

Wendell Clark from Eaton (CBC’s all-time top donor with 683 lifetime donations). “We need to keep recruiting more young people because the donor base is getting older and we need replacements for them.”

Katie Ellis from Kettering (CBC’s top female donor with 532 lifetime donations). “It’s only an hour and a half out of my day and it’s no big deal,” said Katie. “I want to be able to help anybody I can. It’s just a way to give back and it doesn’t cost you anything to give a pint of blood to help somebody.”

Susan Leugers from Botkins – (Started the annual Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive in memory of the daughter she lost to pancreatic cancer at age 22). “I think that anybody that can give blood should,” said Susan. “Four years ago I started the blood drive in honor of my daughter and it’s very well attended by people from Botkins. I’m proud of our community and I’m proud of the people who step up to the plate and donate blood.”

Kelly Schmitmeyer from Anna – (Kelly was scheduled to make her 44th lifetime donation the day she suffered a pulmonary embolism that nearly claimed her life. She received eight blood and platelet transfusions and was resuscitated several times. Kelly can no longer donate but her entire family now donates in her honor).

“I was always a routine blood donor and while I knew it was important and a good thing to do, it never had the impact it did when I became a recipient of blood in December of 2017,” said Kelly.  “In my recovery time the one question that continued to cross my mind was ‘What if the blood hadn’t been available for me?’ Giving blood really does save lives and so that’s my encouragement to everyone. What an easy way to save lives by giving blood. It truly is needed and you never know when you might be a recipient yourself.”



Susan Leugers with donors

BOTKINS, Ohio – Botkins donor Susan Leugers told Ohio lawmakers if they would designate January “Blood Donor Awareness Month” she would deliver its first blood drive.  She kept that promise with the fourth annual Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive Wednesday, Jan. 2 at the Palazzo in Botkins.

Susan was part of the Community Blood Center coalition that testified before the House and Senate Health Committees in support of House Bill 252 for Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month.  It was signed into law last year and this January marks the inaugural celebration.

The Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive was the largest of the six CBC mobile blood drives on Wednesday that kicked-off Blood Donor Awareness Month.  It totaled 87 donors, including 72 donations for 109 percent of collection goal.

Susan Leugers organized the first blood drive in 2016 as a tribute to her daughter Chelsea, who was just 22 when she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.  She recruited 34 first-time donors, and gladly agreed to hold the second blood drive just six months later, right after the New Year’s holiday, when blood is often in short supply.

In recognition of her dedication, Susan was named to the 2017 class of the Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame. Her induction ceremony took place on a frigid day after New Year’s during the 2018 Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive.

“Big wheels turn slowly,” Susan said about the long journey from her testimony before the legislature in 2017 to Wednesday’s milestone blood drive.  She’s learned that blood drive success takes patience, passion, and dedication to encouraging neighbors to donate.  Her daughter’s memory is her inspiration.

“Being without Chelsea at Christmas time is sad,” Susan said. “I stress about this, but I prepare for it. It’s busy work that keeps your mind off her being gone at Christmas. I try to get new donors.”

Donor Kurt Manger came to the blood drive on crutches, just four weeks removed from knee surgery. “I grew up in Botkins, it’s a small community,” he said.  “I’ve known Susan for years. I always try to support this blood drive.”

As the years pass, young friends of Chelsea return to the blood drive to honor her memory.

“This is my third time donating at the blood drive, said Botkins donor Erin Heitkamp. “We went to school together.  They were our neighbors and we were good friends.”

Cory Sherman from Botkins recruited his friend Haleigh Rhodus to make her first lifetime donation.  Their donor beds were side by side and he held her hand during the donation to give support.

“I donate here for my friend Chelsea that passed,” said Cory. “We graduated in the same class and went to school together all the way through.  I try to make it every year.”

Jeanne Brown from Wapakoneta had not donated with CBC since 2003.  She was happy to be one of the first donors of Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month, but her inspiration to donate came from the community’s dedicated effort in memory of Chelsea.

“It’s mainly for the memorial,” said Jeanne.  “It got me back into it.”

Cory Sherman, Haleigh Rhodus donating