CLAYTON — The Polar Vortex followed by a slam-dunk snowfall on Feb. 1 tried to put the freeze on Northmont High School’s Super Bowl Friday blood drive but that was just a challenge the Bolts refused to take lying down. They rallied to reschedule for Monday, Feb. 27 and surprised even themselves by reaching 101 percent of the collection goal.
Student Council Co-Advisors and blood drive committee coordinators Julie Marshall and Kathryn Abels worried they would be all dressed up in their custom made “Out for Blood” t-shirts with no place to go when the flakes began to fall before the Feb. 1 blood drive. They were ready with piles of donated pizza, candy bags, and door prizes all waiting in the wings.
“We had everything in place,” said Julie. “Then we’re out of school Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. But we were able to reschedule and the only thing we had to throw away was a trash can of salsa. We tried to freeze it, but it didn’t work!”
Northmont was lucky to find an open spot on the school calendar, but conflicts with other CBC blood drives meant lowering the capacity for number of donors. “We have about 60 students on a waiting list because we had to lower the number of slots when we rescheduled after the snow day,” said Julie.
That’s why it came as a surprise when the blood drive totaled 134 donors, including 58 first-time donors and 11 donations. “I think everyone felt it was a great to be able to do it,” said Kathryn.
“I love giving blood, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” said senior Sam Henne, a blood drive committee volunteer who made his fifth lifetime donation Monday. “I always try to encourage kids to donate, even if they say they’re afraid of needles. It’s saving lives.”
The volunteers made sure donors felt appreciated. They carefully cut and pasted tags with the names of all donors to hang on a wall of fame and made similar thank you notes to send to all sponsors.
Northmont is the granddaddy of Community Blood Center’s high school blood drive program. The Thunderbolts’ award-winning “M*A*S*H” blood drives in the early 80’s set the standard. Last year Northmont was the fourth-ranked high school blood drive in CBC’s 15-county region with 328 donors, including 256 donations and 167 first-time donors.
“I feel like if I’ve got the opportunity I should do it,” said senior Marissa Myers who made her fifth lifetime donation Monday. She started donating at age 16. “There are only so many people who are physically able to donate,” she said. “I don’t have a problem, so I said I guess I’m going to have to face the needle then!”
Sophomore Kinzie Danes comes from a family of donors. She turned 16 after Northmont’s fall blood drive and looked forward to making her first donation at the next Northmont blood drive. Thanks to the snow days, her wait was a little longer. But Kinzie was patient. “It’s an amazing opportunity to give to other people!” she said.
Connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org. Get fast and complete answers on how to make your first donation, organize a blood drive, or bring our education program to your school. Get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to our social media pages, or schedule your next appointment to donate by connecting to www.DonorTime.com.
For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services®, visit www.givingblood.org.