CASSTOWN, Ohio - Hail to the Vikings of Miami East High School for rolling up their sleeves, pulling hard on the long oars, and helping Community Blood Center (CBC) row to shore Friday, May 16 with the final high school blood drive of the year among CBC's 122 high schools across 15 counties.
Friday's spring blood drive resulted in 28 registrations, including seven first-time donors and 23 successful donations for 114% of goal. Miami East hosted two blood drives in the 2013-14 school year for a total of 60 registrations and 52 donations. The Vikings contributed to CBC's year-ending total of 203 high school blood drives with 13,540 registrations and 11,285 blood donations.
Junior Miranda Maggart had the honor of filling the final appointment and making the final donation of a very busy year for CBC high school blood drives. It was her second lifetime blood donation, putting her in good position to qualify for the CBC Red Cord Honor Program with her next registration to donate during her senior year.
"The first time I donated, they called me and told me my blood was used to save a life 30 days after," she said. "I was happy about it, my parents (who signed her consent to donate when she was 16) were happy. It felt good!"
Miami East's final drive comes just a week before graduation. For some seniors, it was a final opportunity to register for a third high school career donation and be able to wear the Red Cord at graduation. That wasn't a worry for seniors Trina Current and Shane Richardson who both made their 4th lifetime donations Friday.
"I got called one year saying my blood got used right away," said Trina. "I went 'Oh!' that made me feel good, so I like donating." Shane will be studying mechanical engineer at Ohio University next year while Trina will be heading out of state. Trina and her twin sister Ashley were both star players on the Miami East women's basketball team (Ashley's jersey number was 32, Trina's 33) and both earned athletic scholarships to West Virginia State University
The final "buzzer beater" for the Current sisters was seeing if Ashley could be excused from her math test in time to make one last donation. Ashely arrived just before noon, and just in time. It helped that her math teacher is blood drive coordinator Meghan Arnold. "She knows that we want to donate and gives us a chance to go," said Ashely.
The final blood drive was also a chance for sophomore Autumn Sargent to begin her career as a donor with her first lifetime donation. She turned 16 in April and was inspired by her cousin to get started right away. "My cousin does it a lot," said Autumn, "and I like to donate and help people."
Olivia Weldon is just a sophomore, but made her 2nd lifetime donation Friday. "I told myself when I was little, no matter what blood type I am, I'm going to donate," she said. Olivia turned out to be type O-positive. "Which is kind of funny," she joked, "because my first name starts with O, but I'm a 'negative' person!"
Friendship and loyalty played a big role for students like junior Nolan Wooley, who made his first lifetime donation Friday. "I did it because he told me to," he said pointing to his friend junior Michael Deeter. "He said he would do it with me!"
Sophomore Alyssa Eakins is only 16, but made her 2nd lifetime donation Friday. Junior Sabrina Kessler also made her 2nd lifetime donation. "Woo-hoo! Last blood drive," said Sabrina. "We normally donate together." "If you can call us 'normal,'" added Alyssa. You can call them normal classmates, good friends, and exceptional life-saving blood donors.