February 24, 2020

DAYTON, Ohio - The Chaminade Julienne High School blood drive on Feb. 21 was "HEMA-glowin'" in neon greens, yellows and pink in celebration of a new "Unity in the Community Campaign."

"HEMA-glowin'" was the blood drive theme and it was eye-catching. "They're supposed to wear neon this year," said substitute teacher Kathleen Stanaford who filled in for coordinator Angela Ruffolo. "Not that many are, because they don't have as much neon anymore! But they got to be out of uniform if they're donating or working."

Student Council volunteers worked the Donor Café, where the tables were piled high with pizza, baked goods and ice cream contributed by sponsors.

"'Ms. Ruff' sends the emails out, and we have permission forms in homeroom," said senior Student Council member Maria Weizman. "If you bring it back signed, you're on the list.

"Most of the officers of each class have the specific food they're donating. Seniors are doing the pizza, freshmen bring cups. We have four people scheduled to donate every 10 minutes. Seniors and some juniors are the runners who get them from class."

Rivals CJ and Carroll High School are partnering again with Community Blood Center and Universal 1 Credit Union for the 2020-2021 Unity campaign. Both schools will host spring blood drives. The schools alternate selecting a charity to receive the $1,000 Unity Award sponsored by Universal 1.  CJ honored Ohio's Hospice of Dayton this year, Carroll will choose next year's recipient.

The CJ-Unity campaign got off to a strong start at CJ with the blood drive topping 104 percent of goal with 91 donors, including 42 first-time donors and 71 donations.

"That's awesome," said Student Council volunteer and first-time donor Madalyn Richardson, who wore neon pink. "I was too young to donate last year. This year my dad came and donated. It was his first time too. We all wanted to do it together."

Kelsey Roach wore neon yellow as she qualified for the CBC Red Cord Honor program with her third lifetime donation. "This is an accomplishment for me," said Kelsey. "I'm really excited to be helping out, because my blood type is O positive and I know how much it's been needed."

Junior Leah Patel made her first lifetime donation, and she considers it part of a calling toward a career in medicine. "I really want to help," she said. "I know how hard it is to get your blood type for certain procedures."