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DRAGONS FANS RALLY FOR DAY AIR BALLPARK BLOOD DRIVE

September 9, 2021

DAYTON, Ohio - The Dayton Dragons were on the road Sept. 8, beating the Lake County Captains in extra innings to keep their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, Dragon fans gathered at Day Air Ballpark to help save lives by supporting the Dragon's second blood drive of the summer.

Community Blood Center brought two Bloodmobiles to Day Air Plaza on a beautiful September Wednesday. The Dragons encouraged fans to help rebuild the blood supply after Labor Day weekend by offering a free item of Dragon gear to everyone who registered to donate.

The Dragons are accustomed to playing in front of sell-out crowds, and it was a similar response to the blood drive.  CBC totaled 64 donors, including 58 donations and 22 first-time donors for 116% of collection goal.

The Dragons' first summer blood drive on July 22 was an extra-base hit as well, especially with an impressive tally of 29 first-time donors. But the rally was even bigger for Wednesday's blood drive with a 26% increase in donations.

"I found out about it at the ballpark, it was on the big screen," said loyal Dragons fan Dan Catterlin. "When I got outside, I signed up. I used to donate at work, up until I retired."

Dan donated wearing a Dragons t-shirt and Dragons ball cap and went home with another Dragons cap added to his collection. "I've had season tickets for 20-some years, ever since day one," he said. "As a matter of fact, I just sent in for my next year's tickets today."

The Dragons used their network of season ticket holders to recruit donors. "We have season tickets," said donor Karman Spears, who showed a mobile phone photo of her entire family gathered at a game. "They send us emails constantly!"

Steve Huebner was one of the blood drive's first-time donors. "I'm a Dragons fan, so I thought 'Why not here?'" said Steve. "I feel good! I think I'll keep doing it."

New Lebanon donor Sharon Johnson has worked at Kettering Health's Sycamore Medical Center for 20 years. She chose a Dragons ball cap paper weight after donating. "My grandson will love this," she said. "We've gone to games twice this summer."

Butler Township donor Ellen DiVencenzo made her 56th lifetime donation Wednesday, her first in about six years.  She is a loyal Dragons fan, so when they asked for support, she decided it was time to get off the bench and get back in the game.

"I stopped when I retired," she said. "I retired and gave up everything! But the Dragons made me feel guilty. I'm a season-ticker holder so they were sending out the messages! I thought it would get me started again. I'll try to be a regular again."