XENIA, Ohio - Sophomore Liam Rose bobbed his head to the music coming through his ear buds as he made his first lifetime donation Friday at the Xenia High School spring blood drive, then sang out loud with his friend Dylan Crager in the Donor Café.
After facing a challenge, making a sacrifice and helping save lives who wouldn't feel like singing? Friday's blood drive totaled 107 donors, including 29 first-time donors and 81 donations for 100 percent of the collection goal.
"I hate needles and I hate needle pricks," said Liam. "I'm donating and I'm doing it - because I hate needles! It's called 'exposure therapy.'"
The idea is that exposing yourself to a fear will help you overcome anxiety. It worked well enough for Liam. "But I still hate needles," he said.
Donating was new to Liam, but it's a familiar experience to upperclassmen like senior Jack Shaw who made his sixth lifetime donation Friday. Jack has donated at every XHS fall and spring blood drives since his sophomore year.
"It seems like a good idea to help somebody out," he said.
Helping others is the goal of the volunteers in tie-dye t-shirts who served special drinks and snacks in the Donor Café. They are students in instructor Molly Wavra's Biotechnology program and members of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA).
"We started co-sponsoring the blood drive with Student Council a couple of years back and are the main sponsor now," said Molly. "It's a good match for us."
Xenia High's fall and spring blood combined for 203 donors, 78 first-time donors, and 156 donations and averaged nearly 100 percent of the collection goal. CBC recognized XHS as a Red Cord Honor School for 2016-2017.
Molly Wavra and HOSA volunteers senior Zachary Darner, junior Alexis Vaughn and sophomores Saphron Cummins, Trinity Morton and London LaBarrie accepted the Red Cord Honor School award at Friday's blood drive.
Senior Morgan Titcombe qualified for the CBC Red Cord Honor program by making her third lifetime donation at the spring blood drive. Seniors must register to donate three or more times during their high school years to earn the Red Cord.
The blood drive was also an opportunity for seniors to learn more about the CBC/Vectren Lead the Way Scholarship program. They can earn a $1,000 scholarship by submitting a winning idea for a high school blood drive marketing campaign.
A winning campaign requires a good theme with a catchy slogan; a short explanation of why the campaign would encourage classmates to donate; and a creative expression of the theme. Past winners have designed t-shirts and posters, written poetry, and created videos that were creative, informative and fun.
Lead The Way applications must be postmarked by April 20. The application and more information is available at www.GivingBlood.org.
Senior Julia Becker looked over information about the Lead The Way Scholarship while sipping water to prepare for her donation Friday. "I might enter," she said. "I can probably come up with an idea!"
She didn't break into song after completing her second lifetime donation, but she was all smiles.