TIPP CITY — For his Eagle Scout project, local Boy Scout Brady Shilt wanted to do something to give back to his community while honoring his grandparents at the same time.
Shilt, about to start his junior year at Tippecanoe High School, has partnered with the American Red Cross to plan a blood drive. The drive will be held on Thursday, July 26, from 1-7 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Tipp City.
The drive will be held in the names of Sarah and Pete Winner, Shilt’s grandparents.
Several years ago, Shilt’s grandmother was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, requiring multiple blood transfusions and a stem cell transplant. Shilt’s grandfather, a 76-year-old Air Force veteran, is still a regular blood donor.
“My grandparents mean a lot to me. I love them very much,” he said. “They inspired me to do this.”
Shilt said when he started to plan for his Eagle Scout project, he wanted to do something a little different. Community service projects completed by other Eagle Scout hopefuls are often improvements to local parks or other public spaces. Inspired by the donors who have helped his grandmother and many other people in need of blood transfusions, Shilt wanted to do something that could potentially save lives.
“It just kind of proves that you can really do anything for an Eagle Scout project if you put the hard work and effort into it,” he said.
Shilt noted that about 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate, but only about 3 percent actually do. He said he hopes his project inspires others to become regular donors.
Shilt has been a Boy Scout since he was in the first grade. He decided to pursue the Eagle Scout rank because he realized how close he was to completing the requirements for the highest rank the Scouts offer.
“There’s something about it that makes you want to stay in,” he said. “It teaches you about respect and working for the community and making new friends.”
According to the Red Cross, blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies in the United States every two minutes. The Red Cross aims to collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day. The organization supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood.
Blood drive participants can visit www.redcrossblood.org/cedarfair to purchase discounted admission to Cedar Fair parks, including Cedar Point and Kings Island. For each ticket purchased, Cedar Fair will donate $2 to the Red Cross.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.