DAYTON, Ohio - Community Blood Center (CBC) and Vectren have awarded Lead The Way Creative Scholarships to five Miami Valley high school seniors for skillfully using video, poetry, art and ingenuity to create winning blood drive recruitment campaigns.
The 2014 winners represent schools in Montgomery, Clarke, Miami and Darke County. The five seniors awarded $1,000 for college tuition are Margaret Woolf from Northmont High School; Jennifer Felzien from Northeastern High School; Rachel Neff from Oakwood High School; Hannah Saxe from Dayton Christian High School; and Kristina Parke from Bradford High School.
Applicants were asked to create a theme for their high school blood drive and explain why it would effectively encourage fellow students to donate. They were also challenged to express the theme in a clever, creative fashion using conventional marketing techniques or innovative, artistic expressions.
Margaret Woolf (Northmont High School) is from Phillipsburg, OH. She created the slogan "Feed the Need" and playfully illustrated it using the iconic Pac-Man video game. "Retro is something that is really 'in' right now from all different decades," she said. "Even if you haven't played Pac-Man, everybody knows what Pac-Man is."
Her design featured a Pac-Man video screen with the game score in "pints" and the slogan "Feed the Need - Bleed." "My logo specifically addressed the need for blood at local blood centers," she said. "I know that blood is constantly being used in our community and therefore more blood is needed every day."
During her career at Northmont Margaret was a key blood drive volunteer, responsible for entering all scheduling data into the computer system. "I love making a difference," she said. She plans to attend Miami University in the fall and hopes to someday own her own architecture firm specializing in historical restoration and preservation.
Jennifer Felzien (Northeastern High School)is from South Vienna, OH. She combined several creative talents in a strikingly different recruitment brochure titled "Ordinary Heroes and the Power Within." The outside folds are designed as high school locker doors with sticky notes as blood drive reminders. Inside is an original poem titled "An Ordinary Hero" about one girl making a blood donation while another receives blood in the emergency room. She included a crossword puzzle with key words and facts that support the theme.
"I believe that through my booklet and poem, my peers will begin to understand just how important their donation really is," she said. "My slogan 'Ordinary Heroes and the Power Within' reiterates that everyday people really do have the potential to be a true hero; and it all comes from a little solution that we carry within ourselves from our first to final days… blood!"
Jennifer plans to attend Cedarville University in the fall. She would like to serve in the Ohio National Guard as a combat surgeon.
Rachel Neff (Oakwood High School) lives in Dayton. Rachel created the theme "How to Be a LifeSaver" and illustrated it with a t-shirt, poster design, and an original video. Her artwork borrowed the rainbow of LifeSaver candy colors, but replaced the rings with blood drops. Her t-shirt design assigned blood types to each LifeSaver ring and asked, "8 Flavors - What's Yours?" Her "Pump It" video with tips on getting ready to donate was energized by upbeat music, fast-motion editing, and the frenetic dancing of her costumed classmates.
"This was a hilarious way to catch the attention of the school during the normally boring and repetitive school announcements," she said about her recruitment video. "During the blood drive the best part is hearing the donors ask me, 'How many lives did I just save?' How cool is it that in about one hour your average high school student can SAVE up to three lives? So, as a donor, the best souvenir is a t-shirt that broadcast the fact that a blood donor is a LIFESAVER."
Rachel will study business at the University of Alabama and hopes to return to Dayton to work in marketing and advertising.
Hannah Saxe (Dayton Christian School) lives in Dayton. Hannah designed a t-shirt and video campaign around the slogan "Would you save a life for a free t-shirt?" The idea originated when she was asked to create a video for her school's blood drive.
"In borrowing from the Klondike campaign of 'What would you do for a Klondike bar?' I created video asking select students from my high school if they would be willing to do simple, fun things for a free t-shirt and at the end challenged all of my classmates if they would be willing to save a life for a free t-shirt by participating in the blood drive."
Her video features classmates comically meeting the t-shirt challenge by performing flips, singing "I'm a little teapot" on table in the crowded school cafeteria and wrestling a state champion. Her t-shirt design posed the question, "I saved a life for this T-shirt. Would you…"
Hannah will study Media Communication at Asbury University in Kentucky and hopes to someday work in the film industry.
Kristina Parke (Bradford High School) is from Covington, OH. Her campaign featured a creative and unusual donor gift: A bracelet woven from 70 feet of red and white parachute cord. It's an idea she says would appeal to her classmates more than a t-shirt because it is both symbolic and trendy.
"The Paracord Bracelet is used in the armed forces for an extra parachute string," she said, describing the bracelet as a symbol of "strength." She explains the connection in her slogan, "70 Feet of Paracord can save ONE life, a Few Minutes can save up to THREE! So have STRENGTH and Come Donate. "
"It is meant to hold heavy weight and be very useful. Many people just wear them because they are neat and made from all colors, but their real use is to save lives," she said. "The slogan I chose ties both the bracelet and donating together." Kristina plans to study pediatric nursing at Kent State University.
2014 Lead The Way scholarship applicant videos and samples of winning artwork will be available at: www.GivingBlood.org/giving-back/reward. The Lead The Way Creative Scholarship for High School Seniors is made possible by a $5,000 grant from Vectren. It is open to all graduating, college-bound seniors in CBC's 15-county region whose high school hosts a CBC blood drive.