April 15, 2021

HAMILTON, Ohio - The Hamilton community monthly blood drive sailed into a new era on April 15 with the first blood drive in the Riverview Ballroom at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton.

Oxford donor Cheryl Teppig came to the blood drive to keep a decades-old commitment to donating that began when her two-year old son had cancer.

"I love to give platelets," said Cheryl, who donated regularly at the former Hamilton community blood drive location at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church.

"I know how important it is for people to get them during chemotherapy. I wanted to give for him, but I couldn't give as much as he needed. He survived it with a lot of transfusions. He lost an eye, but he will be 32 in August."

Zion Lutheran hosted its final blood on March 18 after a 17-year partnership with Community Blood Center that totaled more than 700 blood drives and 18,000 donors.  The move to the Marriott at nearby 1 Riverfront Plaza gives the blood drive more space for automated donations of platelets and plasma and the distinct need for double red blood cell donations.

Donors can make an appointment at and use sponsor code 171 or call (937) 461-3220 for assistance. Donors can access the Riverview Ballroom through the hotel's main entrance or the side entrance to the right. The next blood drive is Thursday, May 20 and hours are always 12 noon to 6:30 p.m.

"It's the same distance," said former Zion donor Dan Dulude from Liberty Township. "Zion was fine, but this is much more organized."

Dan made his donation beneath the sparkling chandelier in the center of the Riverview Ballroom, shaped like a riverboat keel.

Hamilton donor Albert Schneider made a double red blood cell donation in the corner of the ballroom dedicated to automated donations. Albert has 186 lifetime donations with CBC. He donated platelets at the former West Chester Donation Center and has been donating whole blood regularly for the past five years at Zion Lutheran.

"This is no big deal," Albert said of the change to the Marriott location. "I volunteer at the food pantry right across the street."

Albert's blood type is O positive, ideal for double red cell donations. He recently returned to double reds because of the consistent demand for type O. Double red donations help avoid shortages by doubling the red cells available for surgeries and emergencies.

"They said, 'You could do it' and I said, 'Fine!'" said Albert. "It takes a little more time, but you don't donate again for 16 weeks instead of eight. I'm retired and I have the time."

CBC has declared 2021 "Blood Donor Year" because the COVID-19 restrictions still impacting the blood supply and the traditional challenges of spring travel and outdoor activities. Call (937) 461-3220 for more information on what donation may be best for you.