CLAYTON — Northmont High School rode a wave of daily Spirit Week activities before making a final splash Friday, Feb. 3 with the “Finding Dory”-themed “Just Keep Giving” Blood Drive in the Bolts auxiliary gym.
The winter blood drive comes on the eve of Super Bowl Weekend, and it is the super-sized blood drive of the year. The Bolts’ fall blood drive topped 100 percent of goal with 101 donors, but more than double that number poured into the gym Friday.
“I think we’re up to 213 entered into the computer,” said sophomore Eric Woods who is just beginning his two-year term as the blood drive’s student coordinator.
Eric is on the NHS swim team, so he was glad the blood drive committee chose the “Just Keep Giving” slogan, borrowed from Dory’s “Just Keep Swimming” song.
“We like to be different, and this one is very inviting,” Eric said. “Finding Dory is out there in the culture and it’s a fun idea.”
Student Government advisors and blood drive faculty coordinators Julie Marshall and Kathryn Abels welcome the fun, but are most grateful for all the hard work. The student volunteers commit to multiple planning meetings, must get at least two businesses to sponsor Donor Café refreshments and door prizes, and must sell 20 raffle tickets.
“Student Government is the sponsor but we want the whole school involved because we think it encourages more buy-in,” said Marshall. “These are kids who really want to do this, they’re not doing it because we’re making them. And it’s a time commitment.”
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 80s set the standard. Last year 118 high schools hosted CBC blood drives and age 16-to-19 year old donors now provide about 15 percent of the blood for CBC’s partner hospitals.
“I’ve always been afraid of needles, but I got over it last year when I donated,” said senior Claire Pilgrim after making her second lifetime donation.
Sophomore Melaney Stewart is age 16, so she needed parental consent to donate Friday. She also had to be cleared after a recent surgery. “I couldn’t last time because of my surgery, but since the school offers the blood drive, I made an appointment,” she said.
Seniors Devin Chambers and Angie Walker snacked at the Donor Café and drank water to prepare for their first donations. “I want to help people,” said Angie. Devin said, “It’s to come to support of the people who need blood. I’ve got to give it – I want to be that guy!”