Sinclair Baseball Team at CBC

DAYTON, Ohio – The challenges come early for the Tartan Pride baseball team at Sinclair Community College.  Fall practice begins two weeks before the start of classes as Coach Steve Dintaman goes to work building a team that will challenge again for the Junior College World Series.  His routine includes building character by challenging his players to give blood on the traditional team visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“We have 39 players and I think 31 said, ‘yeah, I’d like to donate,’” said Coach Dintaman on Sept. 10, the team’s 10th annual visit to CBC. “We have a lot of first-time donors, and that’s really cool. We just stress the importance to the community. You never know when people in your life may need blood, or if you might need it someday.”

Thanks to the Tartan Pride, it was not an ordinary Monday at the Dayton CBC. The Donor Center totaled 66 donors, including 22 first-time donors for 176 percent of the collection goal for the day.

“I was a little nervous to start but it wasn’t bad,” said first-time donor Adam Schneider.  “Coach told the story about a previous player he had that lost a lot of blood two times in two weeks. I’ve had cancer in my family: my and aunt and my mom also had it. I know they need blood.”

Sam Lopiccolo, Steve Dintaman

Coach Dintaman’s inspiration came from former Sinclair pitcher Dan Jensen from Centerville.  His carotid artery was “nicked” during routine tonsillectomy surgery in 2007, the summer before his freshman year at Sinclair.  Twice he was rushed to the hospital with massive bleeding, nearly choking to death in the middle of the night when a second surgical repair failed.

He survived thanks to multiple blood transfusions. He worked himself back into shape, became an ace pitcher for Sinclair and then the University of Cincinnati. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and played for the Dayton Dragons.

Dan Jensen’s story helped launch the annual Sinclair baseball team visits to CBC, but each new player writes a new chapter when they become a blood donor.

“I was really nervous,” said first-time donor Brian Hama. “I thought it was going to be a lot worse. I didn’t really consider doing it, but I just thought about how many lives you can save. I thought about what it would be like to have a family member that needed blood.”

Brian completed his donation in nine minutes. He quickly shared the news with his roommate Keegan Corbett from Middletown who also was making his first lifetime donation. “Boom!” said Keegan as he finished his donation in 8:50, “beating” Brian by 10 seconds.

“Let’s just say I drank a lot of water!” said Keegon.

“They compete in everything they do,” said Coach Dintaman.

Their coach leads by example. He was one of the first to donate, making his 38th lifetime donation.

He hopes also to lead this new team to another championship season. His team earned a trip to the NJCAA Division II Junior College World Series in Enid, Oklahoma last spring. The Tartan Pride won their region with a 44-9 record that included a 31-game winning streak and their eighth conference championship in 10 years.  They were seeded fifth in the double elimination tournament, and were eventually ousted by host Northern Oklahoma College.

“This group is dedicated on and off the field,” Coach Dintaman said. “They want to get back to the World Series. That would be our third trip in four years if we go back.”

His team has now completed 10 trips to the Dayton CBC to donate together.  CBC can always count on them coming back.

Cameron Madden, Keegan Corbett


Dracula blood drive

A bright, sunny day with Halloween still two months away is not prime time for vampires.  But despite all that, Dracula couldn’t resist visiting the Washington Township Fire Department blood drive Aug. 23 just to see what’s on the menu.

Morgan Brazie, a volunteer with the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, donned the count’s black tuxedo and red-lined cape to mingle with donors.  He gave longing looks to plump blood bags and recently-wrapped arms as he posed for photos with donors, but minded his manners.

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is partnering with Community Blood Center to promote blood donations and the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic production of “Dracula: Bloodlines” coming up Oct. 25-28 at the Victoria Theater.

Everyone who registered to donate at the Washington Township Fire Department blood drive received a voucher for a “buy one ticket, get one ticket” offer to see “Dracula: Bloodlines.”  Donors will get the same opportunity at multiple mobile blood drives this fall.

“Back by overwhelming demand, Dayton Ballet is thrilled to return to the Victoria Theatre stage to present the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Signature Event, Dracula: Bloodlines,” said DPAA Promotions Manager Sherry Wells.

“The intrigue, shadowing, and mystery of this classic tale is the perfect setting for a story ballet in the haunting month of October. The full artistic force of the DPAA will present an unforgettable evening of performing arts filled with drama and beauty befitting the looming autumn season.”

Dracula demonstrated great restraint as he visited with Washington Township Fire Chief Bill Gaul as he made his donation.  The count then said his farewells and flew away without taking a bite out of the collection totals for the day, leaving behind 47 donors and 41 donations.

Dracula with donor Normajean Roselius


Jim Hume 200 LTD

Dayton donor James “Jim” Hume takes long distances in stride.  A steady walking pace has carried him through marathon races.  On Aug. 30 he took the same approach to completing his milestone 200th lifetime blood donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

Jim worked 32 years at Delco Moraine and retired after the plant closed. “I donated at several mobiles there and some down here,” at the Dayton CBC, he said.

Jim has two daughters and two grandchildren. He lost his wife Debbie in 2011. They were married 36 years.  Her memory inspires him to keep donating.

“My wife died of cancer,” Jim said. “She used tons of platelets.  She had leukemia twice. It started with breast cancer.  She had it for 21 years. I’m trying to give back.”

He began donating platelets in 2002 and has been donating apheresis exclusively since 2009.

He considers his 200 lifetime donations secondary compared to Debbie’s older brother Kenzie Campbell.  Kenzie is also an apheresis donor and has 284 lifetime donations.  They share the inspiration of Debbie’s memory. “That’s why he gives so often,” said Jim.

It’s been a milestone year for Jim in other profound ways. “We had our 50-year Marine Corps class reunion this summer in San Francisco,” he said.  He served from 1968 to 1971 when he said, “Vietnam was hot and heavy.”  He said he was fortunate that his unit wasn’t sent to the war, but they lost six classmates whose names are now “on the Wall” of the Vietnam Memorial.

Jim stays in shape with his marathon walking. “I’ve done the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati and some half-marathons,” he said, “All walking. I’m doing a half-marathon in two weeks. I make myself do it!”

He stays busy by working part-time at the Dayton Airport Gift Shop, where it’s easy to take time off when he’s ready to fly to California to see his grandchildren. “It gives me a nice place to go visit,” he said.

Jim’s pace is both steady and steadfast. He reached his milestone 200th donation with his seventh donation of 2018. It’s the dedicated pace of a “Donor for Life.”



Mike Demuth 100 LTD

This Labor Day has special meaning for Vandalia donor Mike Demuth.  He retired in November from his long engineering career with The Dupps Company.  He rededicated himself to blood donations by becoming a platelet donor and on Aug. 29 made his 100th lifetime donation.  And he is rededicated to the full-time, unpaid labor of helping provide comfort at Hospice of Dayton.

Mike’s history as a whole blood donor dates back to the early years of his career. “It’s been a long time ago,” he said. “I would donate once in a while here (at the Dayton Community Blood Center) or when the mobiles were at The Dupps Company.”

The loss of loved ones influenced Mike to donate. “It came more from a friend who died of cancer 25 years ago,” he said. “It was about the same time my sister passed from pancreatic cancer. She was 47 – Too young.”

Mike averaged four whole blood donations year before making his first platelet and plasma donations in 2016. He is now exclusively an apheresis donor.

“When I retired the first of November I started going back into apheresis because I had more time and not so many other things going on.”

But Mike’s time is suddenly in much higher demand.  In 2017 he started volunteering at Hospice of Dayton with patient visitations.  After he retired, he wanted to do more and “hooked up with the maintenance people.”

Landscaping is a point of pride at Hospice, where they say it “provides our patients with views from their care suites of well-manicured grounds featuring butterfly gardens, shade trees, flowering plants.”

When the long-time groundskeeper at Hospice passed away unexpectedly, Mike felt a calling.  “I’m at Hospice eight hours a day, five days a week,” he said. “It’s not just the grounds. The care suites have planters and this year we planted thousands of pansies.”

So Labor Day arrives with Mike busier than ever.  He and his wife Karen have been married 37 years and have three children and a grandson.  He reached his milestone 100th donation with his ninth donation of 2018. And there is much to do each new season at Hospice.



Seton Catholic CBC Grant Award

RICHMOND, Indiana – Richmond’s Seton Catholic High School went back to school as a reigning champion of Community Blood Center’s high school blood drives.  On Aug. 30 the Cardinals went back to work helping save lives by hosting the first CBC high school blood drive of the new school year.

Seton Catholic added to its blood drive legacy in 2017-2018 by winning the CBC $1,000 High School Leadership grant for “Highest Percentage of Enrollment Donating” for the third consecutive year. It marked Seton’s fifth grant award in the last four years.

CBC’s Melinda Frech presented the award to SCHS Principal John Markward during a morning assembly in the Cardinals gym.  After the assembly, the volleyball nets went down and donor beds went up for the first of the four blood drives Seton Catholic will host this school year.

“We have about 80 students in ninth through 12th grade, and most of those kids donate every time,” said Principal Markward. He credited the Student Council, the sponsor group of the blood drives. “They’re the ones that get everyone signed up at lunch.”

Principal Markward is a regular donor at Seton’s blood drives “I think it’s fun to give back,” he said. “Back when I was 17 was the first time I did it and it’s something I still do.”

Faculty members are often the first to donate. “It’s something I’ve been doing for well over 20 years,” said IT Director Tim Elstro.  Student Council members split time between checking in students, helping in the Donor Café, and donating.

“This is my second year running the blood drive and my sixth time giving,” said Student Council Vice President Trent Reichley. “I try to give as much as I can. Sometimes I have a basketball game that day, and it’s ‘Ah.’ But I like doing it.”

“For most people, once they do it once, they keep doing it,” said senior Sam Brenneke. “We’re a small school, so it’s word of mouth.”

Seton Catholic is one of the smallest of the 116 high schools hosting blood drives in CBC’s 15-county region, yet its dominance in the “Highest Percentage of Enrollment” category increases every year. In 2017-2018 participation was 195 percent of eligible enrollment.  Seton won the same category in 2016-2018 with 175 percent, and in 2015-2016 with 152 percent.

Seton also won two grants in 2014-2015 for “Second Highest Percentage of Enrollment” and “Most Improved.”  Seton Catholic shares the record of five grant awards with Fairmont High School and Butler Tech, two of the largest schools in CBC’s region.

“We like to give back to the community,” said junior Mary Hannah as she made her second lifetime donation.  The small school with a big heart is now on its way to another big year. The first blood drive totaled 58 donors, including 11 first-time donors and 47 blood donations.

Seton Catholic donors


Wilson Health Heather Kean, Elaine Shuga, Kendra Frazier

The purple ballots were piling up fast in the “Healthcare” box at the third annual “Heroes Behind the Badge Blood Drive” Aug. 28 at Wilson Health and “Healthcare” supporters could sense another victory in their friendly rivalry with the Police and Fire teams.

“We ARE Healthcare!” said Kendra Frazier as she voted with fellow Wilson Health staff members. “Because we rock – Healthcare rocks!” agreed Heather Kean.

Healthcare dominated the blood drive challenge with 37 donor votes while Police and Fire tied for second place with 23 votes apiece.  The outcome was a repeat of last year, when Healthcare won and Police and Fire also finished in a second-place tie.

“When I saw the schedule filling up I thought that we could win,” said blood drive coordinator and lab chemistry supervisor Elaine Shuga. “It was more to get people to donate than try to win. This is probably the most Wilson Health employees we’ve had.”

The “Heroes” challenge was another victory for hospital patients who depend on Community Blood Center donors.  The blood drive totaled 88 donors, including 11 first-time donors and 71 donations.

Community donors again faced tough decisions when voting for their favorite public safety team. Sidney donor Kevin Starrett voted for Police. “I know a lot of them and they give me support at my job,” he said.

“I know a lot of police,” Sidney donor Seth Ellis said about his vote. “I have friends, and a brother-in-law.”

Family ties also ran strong for the Fire team. “I’m voting Fire,” said Sidney donor Kathy Brockman. “My father is a retired District Chief on the west side of Dayton.”

Asked about his vote, Tom Fitchpatrick said, “Just look at my arm.”  Tom is a volunteer firefighter with the Port Jefferson Community Fire Company.  On the right shoulder of his donation arm is a tattoo of a skull in a fire helmet, his badge number and “Oct. 6, 1985,” the date he joined the fire company.

“I’m always on call on fire,” said Tom.

Fireman Tom Fitchpatrick donating


Tom Stafford 200 LTD with CBC staff

Springfield donor Tom Stafford has a simple reason why he’s still writing and playing music after a long newspaper career, and why he’ll keep giving blood after his milestone 200th lifetime donation Aug. 21 at the Springfield Community Blood Center.

“If you love something, you stay with it,” said Tom. “Maybe you get a little better every year.”

Tom’s story as a blood donor began in his hometown outside Detroit, Michigan when he was working for an insurance company that hosted a blood drive.  He came to the Miami Valley in 1979 to write for the afternoon edition of the Springfield News Sun.  CBC’s first Springfield Donor Center had opened in 1971 and Tom became a regular.

“I remember once being called about a newborn that needed blood,” said Tom. “Of all the things we try to do, I think blood donation is where you know you’re going to help someone. It’s a fundamental thing. People need blood to keep them alive and keep them healthy.”

Tom has platelet donations dating back to 1998, but he continued to also donate whole blood.  He’s been consistently donating platelets and plasma over the past 10 years, averaging about a dozen donations per year.

“It’s a habit, and it’s a good habit. I’m glad to be helpful,” said Tom. “It’s a good way to share your health.  If you’re healthy enough to give, you give a little of your health to someone else.”

Tom and his wife Ann have been married 42 “wonderful” years and have a son and daughter and two grandchildren.  He’s “semi-retired,” still writing a column for the News Sun, doing freelance writing, and playing drums and singing in two bands.

He handled all sorts of assignments in his years reporting.  He’s covered presidential candidates, but his favorite interview was with the mild-mannered children’s TV host Fred Rogers. “When you’re talking with him you’re the only person in the world, he’s so focused on you as a person,” he said. “It was extraordinary.”

That’s why he won’t stop writing. “You never know what you’re going to find out,” he said. “You’re always learning something.”

The sobering side of news made him dedicated to donating. “Being in the news business, you’re a little more aware of ‘What if someone runs a stoplight? What if you ran a stoplight?’” he said. “Fate or happenstance… you can be on either end of that any day.”

He’s committed to be a better writer, a better player, an even more dedicated donor. “I aim for things that are more satisfying than fun,” he said. “Fun is good too, but satisfying – that’s at a deeper level.”