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NEW YEAR, NEW PROMISE AS SETON CATHOLIC HOSTS FIRST HIGH SCHOOL BLOOD DRIVE

August 31, 2021

RICHMOND, Indiana - A promising new year for young blood donors got underway Aug. 30 with Seton Catholic High School hosting the first Community Blood Center high school blood drive of the 2021-2022 academic year.

Leading the way was senior Lydia Reichley, the first high school donor of the year.

"I didn't realize that! That's pretty cool!" said Lydia as she donated Monday morning in the school gym. "I'm real excited. I hate needles and blood but being able to give blood to people who need it is really great. Going through COVID and seeing people in pain, it's great to know I'm helping people."

Lydia made her third lifetime donation, qualifying her for CBC's Red Cord Honor program recognition. The blood drive totaled 43 donors, including students, teachers and parents, with 36 donations and seven first-time donors for 112% of collection goal.

CBC honored Seton Catholic and former Principal John Markward with the "Crisis Hero" award for hosting four blood drives in the 2020-2021 pandemic year and totaling 145 donors. Seton is the most honored high school in the CBC region after earning seven Leadership Grants for blood drive excellence from 2015 to 2019.

In the COVID year of 2020-21 high school donors declined 52%. CBC is encouraging all high schools to "Revive the Drive" by returning to a full schedule and hosting at least three blood drives. CBC is emphasizing the goal with three donor t-shirts designed exclusively for high schools.

The new year comes with continued COVID-19 challenges for high school administrators, including Jane Brack who is beginning her first year as principal at Seton Catholic. Here students are currently under a mask mandate after the school identified a possible case of COVID exposure.

Seton experienced very few days of remote learning last year and the goal this year is to remain open.

"That's what we're trying to do," said Principal Brack. "We've had so few cases compared to the public schools. I think it's because of our cleaning protocols. The kids are very diligent."

Keeping students in class also allowed Seton to remain dedicated to its blood drive schedule. Senior Ryan Murray was pleased to know he was among the first high school donors of the new year.

"That's pretty cool," he said. "I've been doing this since I was 16. So far, it's looking like we'll be in class."

Christina Knight made her first lifetime donation, following her mom Kathy Knight who donated then served as a blood drive volunteer.

"We were having the blood drive and I could give blood," said Christina. "A couple of times I couldn't because we had a swim meet, and the last time I fell of my bike!"

Seton is known as a small school with a big heart, especially for overcoming obstacles and continuing to host blood drives.

"I think it's exactly what we need to be doing," said Principal Brack. "As a Christian school we're able to help others. What better way to help others? Blood is life. It's important that we do that."