February 12, 2018

WEST CHESTER, Ohio - The blood drives at Butler Tech's Bioscience Center are in the glass-walled room high atop its modern new building.  While donating on Feb. 9, students gazed at the eagles nest view of West Chester's snow-covered hills and highways. When it comes to high school blood drives, Butler Tech always has a lofty view from the top.

Butler Tech is Community Blood Center's most active high school blood drive sponsor and the most honored for blood drive achievement. It has won five $1,000 High School Leadership grants since the award program began in 2012.  It dominated the top category of "Most Donors" by winning it three years in a row.

Health career students moved from the Russell Lee campus to the new Bioscience Center in 2015, with each campus holding separate blood drives. That made it more difficult for Butler Tech to continue winning the "Most Donors" award, but the dedication of the student donors remains the highest among CBC's 113 high schools.

In 2016-2017, the Russell Lee campus hosted five blood drives and placed third in the "Most Donors" category.  The Bioscience Center, with three blood drives, placed third in "Highest Percentage of Enrollment" participating in blood drives category. The Butler Tech Natural Science Center hosted three blood drives and placed fifth in the same category.

Combined with the two blood drives at the School of the Arts, Butler Tech hosted a total of 13 blood drives in 2016-2017. A total of 801 students registered to donate, including 259 first-time donors and 573 blood donations.

The Feb. 9 Bioscience Center blood drive was another success, with 99 donors, 21 first-time donors and 73 donations for 107 percent of the collection goal.

Faculty blood drive coordinator Laura Eby gave credit to her student volunteers and the example set by last year's committee president Hannah Klaassen. Laura chose seniors Morgan Brewer and Regina Mallozzi to succeed Hannah as co-presidents of the 2017-2018 blood drive committee.

"It's a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun," said Morgan. Regina added, "Last year Hannah made it sound like was a lot of fun, and it really is."

"We're all in the health field," said Morgan, who plans to study nursing. "It's a good way of giving back."

Part of the fun was designing a bright red blood drive t-shirt for all the volunteers. It includes a very anatomically accurate drawing of the human heart. "I designed it and showed it to the guy doing our t-shirts and he said, 'Are you sure you want that heart?'" said Morgan.

Senior Haley Roos from Talawanda High School made her fifth CBC lifetime donation at Friday's blood drive. "It's not like I like needles," said Haley, who plans to study nursing and anesthesiology in college. "Some people really don't like needles, but they just don't bother me!"

"I was kind of nervous, but it didn't hurt that bad," said junior Ashlynn Yarletts from Monroe High School who made her first lifetime donation Friday. She looked down from her donor bet to watch the cars far below zooming along I-75.

"It makes me feel good. I'm also an organ donor," she said. "My mom and I talked about it. If you can help somebody that really does need it, it makes you feel good inside."