MU hosts first blood drive of the school year

For the Weekly Record Herald

WEST MILTON — The whirlwind of back-to-school time is still spinning at Milton-Union High School. Like high school students everywhere, they Bulldogs are juggling classes, clubs, and the return of Friday night football. But in the middle of all that activity, they kicked off a new school year of helping save lives by hosting the area’s first Community Blood Center (CBC) high school blood drive.

Milton-Union marked CBC’s first Ohio high school blood drive of the year. Milton-Union Principal Scott Bloom, an experienced platelet donor, was one of the first to roll up his sleeve.

Helping him make his 27th lifetime blood donation was a former student. Chloe Lehwalb graduated from Milton-Union in 2014 and after a year at Ohio Medical Career College is a new CBC phlebotomist. “We talked for a long time about doing this,” said Principal Bloom. “I saw her Friday night at the game (a 21-7 win over Miami East); she said she would be here Tuesday and I said I would definitely take the time to come over. It’s nice to see kids doing good in life and making something of themselves.”

The early blood drive is the first of three Milton-Union will host this school year, all sponsored by the National Honor Society and coordinated by advisor Jodi Hill. Senior NHS volunteer Grayson Galentine offered encouragement to new donors checking in, and held hands with classmate Olivia Setser as she made her first lifetime donation.

“I’ve done this three times and I hate the needles too,” said Grayson. “But it’s worth doing.”

Junior Lilian MtCastle had the same resolve about making her 2nd donation. “I did it last year too,” she said. “I’m not a blood person — meaning I can’t look! But I like doing it to help people.”

Lilian wore her “This is My Lucky Cowboy Tee” t-shirt to make her donation, because she and her dad are big Dallas Cowboy fans. Classmate Taylor Friedman made her first lifetime donation wearing her lucky high-top sneakers with a colorful Super Hero design. “I think it’s all the Avengers, actually,” she said.

The blood drive registered 21 donors and resulted in 15 donations. Taylor was one of eight first-time donors. She may have worn Super Hero shoes, but she didn’t consider herself a hero for making her first blood donation. “I just wanted to do it,” she said. “No problem!”