January 24, 2018

KETTERING, Ohio - It may have been a cold night for the Jan. 23 Fairmont vs. Alter basketball game at Trent Arena, but the "Unity in the Community" award presentation at halftime kindled warm thoughts about summer camp and helping others.

The Firebirds and Knights celebrated their third year of joining forces for the Unity campaign.  Each school hosts a Community Blood Center blood drive in the fall.   They jointly present a $1,000 award from Universal 1 Credit Union to a charity chosen by the home team at the Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

Fairmont's Nov. 3 blood drive and Alter's Nov. 7 blood drive totaled 268 donors, including 131 first-time donors and 217 blood donations.

As this year's host school in the Unity campaign, Fairmont chose Camp Kesem at The University of Cincinnati to be the $1,000 Unity award recipient.   Camp Kesem is a summer camp and peer support program for children with family members fighting cancer.

Many Fairmont graduates have worked at the camp, including counselors Veronica Romo and Arrianna Rucker who accepted the Unity award on behalf of Camp Kesem.

"The kids go to the camp for free," said Veronica. "This will help with expenses, meals and activities. We also provide care packages to kids if a family member passes away to let them know we care and that we support them."

"It's year-round support," said Arrianna. "We want them to know they have another family."

Fairmont began the school year as CBC's regional champion in blood drive participation.  Activities Director and blood drive coordinator Corey Miller was pleased to see continued support for the fall blood drive and the Unity campaign.

"It's great because it's high school kids continuing the service in college they started in high school," Corey said. "We have a lot of kids giving back."

Last year Alter chose "Brigid's Path" as the Unity Award recipient.  It opened in the fall of 2017 and is now providing inpatient care for babies suffering from prenatal drug exposure.