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Unity in the Community: CJ & Carroll High School


CJ & Carroll high School Unity in the community award check presentation DAYTON, Ohio – Rivals Chaminade Julienne and Carroll High Schools battled on the basketball court Dec. 7 then celebrated a joint tribute at halftime with the presentation of the fifth annual $1,000 Unity Award in memory of CJ student Leo Lehner.

The annual “Unity in the Community” campaign is a partnership between Community Blood Center, Universal 1 Credit Union, and Chaminade Julienne and Carroll High Schools. The schools host Unity blood drives and alternate choosing a charity to receive the Unity Award sponsored by Universal 1.

As this year’s host of the Unity Award presentation, CJ chose the Epilepsy Alliance Ohio and the Leo Lehner Camp Scholarship Fund to receive the award. Administrators and students presented the $1,000 check to Epilepsy Alliance Assistant Director Mark Findley with Leo’s uncle Paul Lehner and Carroll High student Natalie Wourms, a friend of Leo and fellow epilepsy camper.

“We have a camp for kids who have epilepsy, and Leo attended our camp in the past,” said Mark Findley. “When he passed away, we set up a memorial scholarship fund for kids who can’t afford to go to camp. This will add to it and its pretty substantial now with the donations we have. It’s powerful that the students chose this way to honor Leo.”

Leo was a 15-year-old freshman at CJ. He died Oct. 11 after suffering a seizure and falling from his boat during a rowing club practice on the Great Miami River in Moraine.

“We wanted the donation to be in honor and memory of Leo,” said Student Council Advisor and blood drive coordinator Angela Ruffolo.

The 2021 Unity campaign began with CJ hosting a Unity blood drive on Feb. 26, followed by Carroll’s Unity blood drive on March 26. The rivals combined for 112 donors, 50 first-time donors and 90 donations and earned more than 112 hours of community service.

Participating in the award ceremony: CJ Principal Greg Mueller, Athletic Director Anthony Turner, Student Council Advisor & Blood Drive Coordinator Angela Ruffolo, CJ Students Azshani Caesar, Caylin Baker, Kitty Greek, Amani Cardell, LIndsey O'Lalde, Myi Ferris, and Peyton Achs; Carroll blood drive coordinator Laura Wright, honor student Nassra Nkundabagenzi , Carroll Principal, Matt Sableski, Assistant Principal Greg Derus; Mary Cook and Kurt Miller from Universal 1 Credit Union; Donna Teuscher from Community Blood Center; Mark Findley, assistant director of the Epilepsy Alliance Ohio, Paul Lehner and Natalie Wourms.


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