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Kettering Alter High Unity In the Community Blood Drive

Alter Unity in the Community Blood DriveKETTERING, Ohio - The Alter High Knights are charging into the new school year with a lot to accomplish. They helped Community Blood Center “Revive the Drive” on Nov. 2 by hosting their first blood drive of the year, rejoined rival Fairmont in another Unity campaign to benefit local charities, and continued their CURE Club mission to help fight cancer.

The CURE Club is a cancer research advocacy and support group that sponsors the Alter blood drives. The Nov. 2 blood drive exceeded 115% of goal with 44 donors, 37 donations and 18 first-time donors.

It was a busy morning for CURE volunteers and blood drive coordinator and school nurse Jeanne Kernan. Because of a surprising cold morning they shifted the location to the warmer main gym and shuffled donor schedules to avoid a scheduling conflict.

“It was very cold!” said CURE Club President Marie Thieman, who helped organize the blood drive with CURE vice president Karlie Romer. “We wanted to make sure donors were on time and everyone was happy and safe. Everyone here at Alter loves donating, they love donating at every blood drive, walking around and showing off their arm and t-shirt!”

Alter and Fairmont are partnering for the seventh year with CBC and Universal 1 Credit Union on the Unity in Community campaign. Both schools have now hosted fall blood drives and they will jointly present a $1,000 award sponsored by Universal 1 to a designated charity.

It is a year to “Revive the Drive” after the disruptions of COVID-19. The number of high school blood drives in the 2020-2021 school year was down 28% due to the pandemic. Blood drives were also smaller with a 52% decline in donors and a worrisome 48% decline in first-time donors.

Fairmont High began the Unity campaign with its Oct. 7 blood drive. The rivals combined for 163 donors, 136 donations and 79 first-time donors. It was a nearly 25% increase in donors from 2020, when despite COVID-19 restrictions they totaled 131 donors.

“I give blood as much as I can because I’ve had family members who needed it in the hospital,” said Ashely Fortman, a CURE Club member who made her fourth lifetime donation at the blood drive.

“I’m young, I’m not afraid of needles, so I want to sign up for the blood drives and give to people. It makes me feel like I’m making a difference.”

Alter chose the Ride Cincinnati fundraiser for cancer research and care to receive the 2020 Unity award. Fairmont will choose the 2021 charity and present the award at the Dec. 14 Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

“I’ve watched my parents do it for years,” said junior Madeline Maffett, who believes in the fight against cancer. “That’s the reason I joined the CURE Club in the first place because I knew they did the blood drives.”

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