Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region celebrates champion supporters during June 5 Annual Meeting at CONSOL Energy Center

June 1, 2012


A total of 49 individuals, businesses and organizations from 23 counties throughout the 100-county American Red Cross Blood Services, Greater Alleghenies Region, were honored today at the region’s annual meeting, “Celebrating Champions.”

The Greater Alleghenies Region’s annual meeting was held June 5 at CONSOL Energy Center, Lexus Room, Pittsburgh.

Recipients of the above awards were selected by a group of Red Cross volunteers and staff members, and represent the highest quality of service to the Red Cross and hospital patients.

This year’s honorees are from or headquartered in the following counties:

Kentucky: Boyd County

Maryland: Washington County

Ohio: Belmont County

Pennsylvania: Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Franklin, Indiana and Westmoreland counties

Virginia: Page and Warren counties

West Virginia: Grant, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Monongalia, Ohio and Wood counties

The keynote address was given by Brian Boyle of Welcome, Md. Boyle, the author of Iron Heart, is a blood donor, blood recipient and triathlete.

Regional CEO John A. Hagins and blood recipient families from Pennsylvania and West Virginia also shared remarks.

The region also conducted its annual election of members to serve on its volunteer board of directors.


2012 Outstanding Support Awards

American Red Cross Blood Services, Greater Alleghenies Region


All-Star Volunteer Award: Peg Griffith, Charleston, W. Va.

For the past 18 years, Peg has served as a volunteer greeter and refreshment aide Fridays at the blood region’s Charleston, W. Va., donor center.  A dedicated volunteer who keeps donors entertained, Peg has called off sick just once. She is often the only volunteer at the Charleston site on Fridays and enjoys her service. Peg never complains, always contacts the Red Cross with suggestions, and even tries to help more than once a week by calling to fill in where there are no other volunteers. Peg’s number one contribution to the Red Cross is customer service. When she’s on the job, donors walk away with a smile or shout out a “see you soon.” Peg was unable to attend the meeting and her award will be presented at a later time.


All-Star Volunteer Award: Rosemary Kindelan, Jeannette, Pa.

A retired nurse, Rosemary has worked as a Red Cross blood services volunteer since 1982, averaging one blood drive a week. Her late husband, Bill, also volunteered with the local Westmoreland Chapter as a donor traffic coordinator during large goal blood drives. Rosemary has also been instrumental in getting blood drives back on a regular schedule for the Jeannette Community with the help of her fellow volunteer Emma Christafano. They call and schedule donors to make their Ascension Church drives a success.  Rosemary and Emma are also long-time at Jeannette High School blood drives.  Rosemary, 80-plus years young, works with the students at the registration table and with any other role she’s needed to do. Rosemary received her award during the June 5 event.


All-Star Volunteer Award: Walter Mattern, Johnstown, Pa.

Walter has served as Red Cross volunteer for nine years, both as a blood drive sponsor and blood drive volunteer. He’s the main contact for his own church, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, which sponsors Red Cross blood drives. He makes church announcements, posts all his flyer and signage, and calls all his pre-scheduled donors and new call list donors to sign them up.  He requests that we order him blood drive date cards with his future dates so he can pass them out at drives and around the community.


Walter is also an outstanding and dependable volunteer. The Red Cross calls on him in times of need when we put on short-notice blood drives, when sponsors were unable to obtain their own volunteers, when sponsors don’t have enough volunteers, or when volunteers we were expecting are no longer available. He always says yes; he is always willing to go, even in addition to always being present at his own church drives. In nine years, he has missed only one blood drive that we have asked him to attend, which was due to a scheduling conflict.  He talks to our donors and gets to know them.  He reminds them how important blood donation is, and he thanks them over and over from the time they walk in to the time they walk out. Walter received his award during the June 5 event.


All the Right Moves Award: Sonja Wilson, West Virginia University, Morgantown, W. Va.

Sonja initiated the partnership between the American Red Cross and the WVU Dancing with our Mountaineer Stars resulting in a new event drive on campus. This year’s Dancing with the Stars blood drive, held February 28, brought in a total of 200 donors and netted 167 units of blood, making it the Red Cross’s largest blood drive at WVU to date. Sonja was critical in getting the support from groups throughout the university and Morgantown. The university and Red Cross have already scheduled next year’s event and plan to make it bigger and better. Sonja was unable to attend the meeting and her award will be presented at a later time.


Blair Bice Award for Outstanding Media Support: KOOL 105.5 and JACK-FM, Bellaire, Ohio

One of several media outlets that support the annual Ohio Valley Media Day, KOOL JACK’s unpaid sponsorship goes above and beyond once a year. The station supports the Bikers Want Your Blood drive which has become a large annual event in July (this year it has a goal of 350 donors). The station has a very nice presence at these events, often bringing a prize wheel or activity for donors. KOOL JACK also sponsors its own blood drive annually at the Ohio Valley Mall, and has sponsored five drives total since 2008, averaging 36 productive units per drive. These drives are typically held in the summer when units are much harder to come by, and have a special theme. Their “Stuff the Bus” drives at the mall not only attract blood donors from across the Ohio Valley but help two causes at once by allowing mall patrons to fill a school bus with school supplies for students in need. Throughout the year KOOL JACK also publicizes Red Cross news releases and lists blood drives on the stations’ community calendar. The stations were unable to send a representative to the meeting and their award will be presented at a later time.


Edgar Cheely Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service: Ashland Ky. Fire Station Volunteers: Virginia Carter, Eulas Hayes, Thursa Keathly, Vivian Malloy, Carl Rowe, Bertha Warnock.

According to Chapter Executive Vicki James, these six volunteers are the heart and soul of the Northeast Kentucky Chapter’s most successful blood drive in Ashland. This group can be counted on to work the first Friday of every month at the Fire Station drive. The most senior volunteer, Virginia Carter, age 91, has served as a Red Cross volunteer for 75 years. The other five volunteers have served for 15 – 25 years, and all together the six volunteers have given 200 years of service. Eulas Hayes also assists in obtaining refreshment sponsors and is a 35-gallon donor. Vivian Malloy is a greeter and Bertha Warnock and Thursa Keathly prepare home-made refreshments. Carl Rowe entertains donors with jokes and always has a smile on his face. Collectively they focus on the donors and making sure their donation experience is positive. James believes that the attentiveness of these volunteers is the reason that many of the site’s donors return every 56 days to give blood. The volunteers were unable to attend the meeting and their award will be presented at a later time.


Edgar Cheely Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service: Sylvia Sites, Petersburg, W. Va.

For well over a decade, Sylvia has organized the Grant County Community blood drives in Petersburg, every 56 day rotation. She coordinates all of the details of the site, numerous volunteers and reaches out to civic groups for refreshment support (even shrimp for the annual December drive). She also asks town officials to advertise the blood drive on their programmable road signs and make sure it is announced from the pulpit at local churches. In October 2011 when the Red Cross faced low donor turn out Sylvia was proactive and personally obtained more than 100 donations from area businesses to give away as door prizes at their October blood drive. Because of Sylvia’s relentless drive to ensure an adequate supply of blood, Grant County Community donors contributed on average 90 units of blood per blood drive during 2011. Sylvia received her award during the June 5 event.


Business Sponsor Coordinator Award: Jenna Sweeney, Lehigh Phoenix, Hagerstown, Md. 

Lehigh Phoenix (formerly Phoenix Color) has been a long time SCU sponsor. Since Jenna took over responsibilities and became drive coordinator, sign ups have been strong and we’ve had the most participation in the history of this drive. The company holds two blood drives annually and during the past two years brought in 127 productive donations with a cumulative 95.5% projection accuracy. Jenna was unable to attend the meeting and her award will be presented at a later time.


Career and Technology School Award: YTI Career Institute, Altoona, Pa.

From 2006 until the current fiscal year, this school held one Red Cross blood drive annually. This year, however, blood drive coordinator Vicki Kane decided that she wanted to have a blood drive quarterly for the students there. Many of the students are pursing degrees in the medical profession and this is a great way for them to gain first-hand experience on how their skills and lessons can be used for and help to benefit others. During the 2011-12 school year, YTI Career Institute collected 138 units during their four blood drives, a significant increase over its first blood drive total of 19 donations. The students are a pleasure to work with and have been a tremendous help and are very involved with each blood drive. Eight faculty members and students, led by blood drive coordinator Vicki Kane and Tanya McCormick, accepted the award during the June 5 event.


Civic Partnership Award: Ferguson Township Lions Club, Pine Grove Mills, Pa.

This group sponsors a community blood drive every 56 days. Since 2006, their efforts have netted 703 blood donations. Their blood drives nearly always meet or exceed goal. This group has a dedicated group of volunteers who are determined to make each blood drive a success. Nelson Wheeler, who accepted the award on behalf of the Club, takes it upon himself to visit a radio station the week of the drive. He was present during the June 5 event to accept the award.


Civic Partnership Award:  Luray Ruritans, Luray, Va.  

Under the leadership of Dave Hull, the Ruritans agreed to two blood drives in 2011 but went above the call of duty to hold three successful blood drives. The Ruritans have historically hosted a September and February drive collecting an average of 45 units per drive. In late August the group is instrumental in their local fair and members use that as an opportunity to begin their recruitment efforts for the September blood drive.  Many of the Ruritans are donors as well. They solicited new donors and handed out payroll stuffers during the town’s annual Christmas parade and also reached out to other civic groups to challenge them to become future Red Cross blood drive sponsors. When their Red Cross representative mentioned that sign-ups for the July 2011 community blood drive were low, the group developed a plan to recruit donors during Luray’s Fourth of July parade. The volunteers were unable to attend the meeting and their award will be presented at a later time.


Clara Barton Award: Charles “Skip” McGreevy, Indiana, Pa.

Skip joined the American Red Cross as a volunteer for Disaster Services in October 2006; the following March he started volunteering for blood drives as well, working as many weekend and holiday blood drives as he could while still teaching in the area. Once he retired, he started volunteering at additional drives in the Indiana area, and also helps the local chapter with other blood drive duties as well, from updating Chapter blood drive forms to running Community Education Programs. Skip works at as many blood drives at Indiana County high schools, IUP and WyoTech as his schedule permits; school blood drive coordinators specifically request his service. Skip showed up to work at the February 29 WyoTech drive despite not having been scheduled since he was on vacation.


Skip can perform all volunteer duties flawlessly, whether a volunteer coordinator, greeter, canteen worker, walker, or directing traffic flow at larger blood drives.  He is well known by many students and teachers for bringing current trivia questions about the Indiana area to amuse the donors and keep them occupied while waiting to donate blood.


He always takes care of the donor first. He is especially great with younger donors and first-time donors, taking them under his wing and guiding them through the donation process so they are less nervous. He takes extra time with them and will even walk them around through the blood drive, explaining the registration, health history, donation, and canteen stations. 


Skip is also a great recruiter and supporter for Double Red Cell Donation, and takes it upon himself to recruit and fill those double red beds when he sees them empty at a blood drive.  Since he himself does the double red cell donation type, he is the perfect person to explain to the donor what the procedure is all about and how it benefits both the blood donor and recipient. 


Skip provides valuable suggestions, ideas, and informational feedback to the Red Cross about blood drive operations, donor satisfaction, and ways to improve aspects of individual blood drives. Skip always gets up and takes charge, even taking extra signs, foodstuffs, supplies, and water for school blood drives to ensure that we do not run out.

Skip received his award during the June 5 event.


Community Partnership Award: Alpha Natural Resources, Charleston, W. Va.

During the planning of the annual Red Cross volunteer luncheons last year, the Red Cross contacted Alpha Natural Resources with an estimate of what three luncheons (Huntington, Parkersburg and Charleston) would cost, in hopes of receiving a small donation. Instead Aimee White secured $500 to underwrite the cost of each location’s event and asked if the Red Cross needed any more donations. The Red Cross looks forward to collaborating with Alpha Natural Resources on future projects. The company was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Community Partnership Award: Kentucky Beef Council, Pennsylvania Beef Council, Virginia Beef Industry Council, West Virginia Beef Producers Check Off

These organizations supported several “Beef Up the Blood Supply” blood drives during August 2011. The Kentucky and West Virginia councils were first-time sponsors, while the Virginia Council’s support dates back to 2009 and the Pennsylvania Council’s support dates back to 2006. Presenting donors at “Beef Up the Blood Supply” blood drives were entered to win a grill, a beef quarter, or a case of steaks. In some locations refreshments included grilled hamburgers. The councils were unable to send a representative to the meeting and their awards will be presented at a later time.


Community Partnership Award: Chick-fil-A at Happy Valley, State College, Pa.  

Local Chick-fil-A owner Bruce Herold has been incredibly generous in providing food and coupon donations. For the last three blood drives at South Hills School of Business and Technology, the restaurant donated hot sandwiches for the canteen. In August 2011, Chick-fil-A donated 1,000 coupons for a free milk shake, valued at $2,550, to offer presenting donors at Centre County blood drives throughout August. The company was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Community Partnership Award: The Meadows Original Frozen Custard

As part of the Greater Alleghenies Region’s Ice Cream Month promotion during last July (2011), The Meadows donated 500 coupons for free ice cream cones and mini-golf passes for donor appreciation items and drawings at several blood drives. The company was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Community Partnership Award: Outback Steakhouse, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Michelle Shivers and her crew at the Outback Steakhouse 3921 in Mechanicsburg, Pa. provided meals to all presenting donors, volunteers, and staff at two of the initial Red Cross blood drives at the Naval Support Activity. Last August, the staff served up 140 meals consisting of bar-b-qued chicken and ribs in support of the Red Cross blood drive that netted 110 units of blood. On a cold, blustery day this past January, they provided shrimp and ribs to 120 people at a drive that resulted in 68 units of blood being collected. Outback’s participation has increased interest and participation at the Naval Support Activity blood drives. The restaurant was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Community Partnership Award: Subway of Butler LLC, Butler, Pa.  

Owners Mike and Mary Waggoner, whose restaurant serves the communities of Butler, Harrisville, Saxonburg and Slippery Rock, have supported Red Cross blood drives in Butler County for the past year. During this time they have donated coupons for over 400 free 6-inch subs valued at $1,600 and 650 free cookie coupons valued at $325 for more than a dozen blood drives, including those at Slippery Rock University. Mike has also donated over four gallons of blood through the Red Cross, typically at Butler Community College and at St. Mark’s Church. The Waggoners accepted their award during the June 5 event.


Community Sponsor Coordinator Award: Josephine Kelly, Saxton, Pa.  

For more than 30 years, Josephine Kelly has served as the sponsor coordinator for the 56-day Saxton Community blood drive. The community’s six annual blood drives net an average of 36 per drive. Josephine recruits double red donors, spreads the word in the community and schedules the volunteers. She understands the importance of meeting their goals and has been a tremendous impact in the small community of Saxton and increasing the awareness of the blood drives there. Josephine was presented her award during the June 5 event.


Community Sponsor Coordinator Award: Robin Shaw, Bald Eagle Valley Community United Methodist Church, Bald Eagle, Pa. 

Robin started sponsoring Red Cross blood drives when her youngest daughter, Jennie, did a “Making a Difference” scholarship drive. When Jennie went on to college, Robin assumed responsibility. Leading up to each 56-day drive, Robin makes announcements and does presentations in church to recruit donors. Her blood drives consistently meet or exceed goal, having netted 276 donations during the past two years with a cumulative projection accuracy of 95%. Robin is very passionate about having successful blood drives. She hand writes thank you notes to all the donors. She has recently invited some high school students to assist her in calling all donors to invite them to the blood drives. Unable to attend the June 5 event, Robin commented, “I'm honored to have been chosen, but it really belongs to all of my volunteers whom I count on to be there during the day when I can't be…When people ask why I continue to do it, I say it's my way of serving the community in a meaningful way.  Before I volunteered at the blood drives I had no idea how the donations were used and how badly they are needed.  It's worth every bit of my efforts to help those in need.  I hope our group will continue to work with the American Red Cross for a long time.” Robin will receive her award at a later date.


Corporate Good Neighbor Award: Galliker Dairy Company, Johnstown, Pa.

During July 2011, the Galliker Dairy Company sponsored the region’s Ice Cream Month promotion and donated hundreds of coupons for a free pint of ice cream. Coupons were offered to all presenting donors at Red Cross blood drives and donation centers in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Huntingdon, Indiana and Somerset counties. The company also donated beverages for summertime media-supported blood drives. During July 2012, the company is expanding its support to sponsor a daily drawing for an Ice Cream For A Year package or an Ice Cream Party Pack. The company was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Corporate Good Neighbor Award: Hino Motors Manufacturing, Williamstown, W. Va.

Hino Motors Manufacturing holds two Red Cross blood drives annually and this past year brought in 101 blood donations, an increase of 26% over the previous three-year average. The company was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Corporate Good Neighbor Award: Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Charles Town, W. Va.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has partnered with the Red Cross for more than a decade. The first blood drive was initially goaled to net 20 donations. Sometime after the 56 day waiting period for blood donation, the Red Cross contacted the sponsor again about its next blood drive. The racetrack didn’t say no, and so it began. Over the years, this blood drive has consistently grown, with every 56-day blood drives currently bringing in nearly 1,000 blood donations annually.


Blood drive leaders work internally with select staff to make sure the word gets out to the community. They provide a spread from their own food services to feed the donors at canteen.  They provide a luncheon area for Red Cross staff and volunteers with food provided by the Casino.  Executives often talk with the presenting donors, thank them for coming out, give each of them a certificate to come have lunch at the casino. Most of all, they care. 


The company was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Corporate Good Neighbor Award: Wheeling Nailers Hockey Team, Wheeling, W. Va.

A longtime partner on the annual Red Cross Ohio Valley Media Donor Day, the team has expanded its support and is a fantastic supporter of the American Red Cross throughout its hockey season (October 1 – March 31). New this past year was a “Get in the Game” promotion through which, each month during hockey season, all presenting donors at local blood drives were entered into a drawing to win a pair of ticket vouchers good for any home Nailers game. Additionally, all sponsors who met or exceeded their goals were put into another drawing for a pair of ticket vouchers. The Nailers announced blood drives during game broadcasts and during intermissions whenever they were asked. They also displayed blood drive posters and distributed flyers. They donated autographed sticks, pucks, and photos, made mascot appearances, and donated additional tickets for the annual Media Day drive. Each of the team members attended Media Day and volunteered as a “celebrity escort,” walking donors from beds to canteen. They happily took pictures with donors and autographed their Media Day t-shirts. D.J. Abisalih, the “voice” of the Wheeling Nailers, recorded phone messages to help recruit donors. These efforts made a significant difference in blood drive operational efficiency. The year before the “Get in the Game” promotion, operational efficiency averaged 83.4 percent. During the 2011-12 hockey season, operational efficiency jumped five percentage points to 88.4. Matt Rosen, D.J. Abisalih, and Craig Bommer were a huge help, and discussions have already begun regarding a partnership during the 2012-13 season. The team was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Critical Need Sponsor Award: Tri-County Church, DuBois, Pa. 

For the past three years, Tri-County Church has hosted a blood drive on Good Friday, which can be a challenging day to have a sufficient number of blood drives scheduled to help meet patient need. The church’s first drive on April 2, 2010, netted 62 donations; in 2011 and 2012 their drives netted 87 and 82 donations, respectively. The church drive relies on scheduled appointments, which is unusual for a community blood drive and helps to ensure that Red Cross staffs the blood drive adequately. The church was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Critical Need Sponsor Award: Washington High School, Charles Town, W. Va. 

When the school was no longer able to hold a blood drive during school hours, during 2011 FBLA leader Lee Ann Smith and the FBLA members at Washington High School volunteered to coordinate and sponsor two successful blood drives; one in June just after graduation and one on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, both critical need time periods. A total of 65 units were given on November 23, 2011. Student and community support was great and as a result of their success they have secured a November 2012 date. The school was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Government Partnership Award: Naval Support Activity, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Commander Eric Burks was instrumental in establishing Red Cross blood drives at the Naval Support Activity military base in Mechanicsburg, PA.  NSA has approximately 3,000 employees and had not participated in a blood drive for at least 10 years. The events are held on base and Commander Burks recruits donors through a network of other commanders.  This group has collected 298 units at four blood drives and have committed to holding quarterly blood drives.  Commander Burks will be turning the reins over to LCDR Stephen Higgins in June as Commander Burks is transferring to a base in Virginia in July.  His leadership and initiative in organizing blood drives has certainly been appreciated. The unit was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


High School of the Year Award (under 400 students): Hancock High School, Hancock, Md.

Hancock High School is the smallest public high school in Washington County, Md., and yields the highest level of blood drive participation by students, faculty and staff, as well as parents and members of the community. The Student Government Activities committee that supports the drive has a great, energetic and enthusiastic group of kids who offer full support from themselves and their parents to completely fill the appointment schedule for each blood drive.  The school also just added a third blood drive for this school year and is considering a summer drive. Since 2010, they’ve brought in 255 units of blood. The unit was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


High School of the Year Award (400+ students): Hempfield Area High School, Greensburg, Pa.  

Since 2006, the blood drives at Hempfield Area High School have been sponsored by the Student Council under the leadership of Ryan Wuslich, the council’s advisor/teacher.


The Student Council is responsible for recruiting, signing up and scheduling the donors as well as serving as volunteers for the entire day. The school designs its own unique tee shirts each year for the student council members to wear the day of the blood drive, which helps Red Cross collections staff to identify them as volunteers. They also create additional signage for eligibility criteria as an extra measure to ensure only eligible donors are signing in at registration, which has significantly improved the donor flow.


While the school’s student population has decreased over the years, the number of productive units collected at Hempfield Area High School has remained constant. The school holds two Red Cross blood drives per school year, collecting approximately 250 productive units per school year at a rate of approximately 27% of their eligible student population. Over the last five school years, Hempfield blood drives have netted 1,234 productive units of blood.


Wuslich and his student leaders accepted the award on June 5.


High School of the Year Award (400+ students): Ravenswood High School, Ravenswood, W. Va.

During the 2011-12 school year, Ravenswood High School expanded its participation from two to three Red Cross blood drives and increased its production by 117%. Last school year Ravenswood’s two blood drives netted 76 productive units; this past year, the school brought in 165 units at its three blood drives. The school was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


High School of the Year Award (400+ students): Skyline High School, Front Royal, Va.

Adding a third drive to the school year calendar and carefully selecting drive blood dates that capitalized on alumni participation helped coordinator John Natalie and Skyline High School increase their units collected per drive from 52 to 65 units. They used social networking and fostered school spirit to make each drive a success. From June 2011 moving forward the school has committed to adding an annual summer scholarship drive. The school was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


High School Spirit Award: Bellwood-Antis High School, Bellwood, Pa.  

Bellwood-Antis hosts two Red Cross blood drives annually, netting an average of 52 units at each the past two years.  Blood drives are open to students and community the schoo does everything it can to get the word out sign up donors. The school’s Leo & Lions Club sponsors the blood drive and the LEO Club Advisor, Sue Kovensky, strives to instill the importance of meeting blood drive goals. She has students go throughout the community to advertise and organizes sign up tables. She has offered incentives for her students for trying to donate and asks them to bring someone in their place if they are unable to. The school receives support from the community with refreshment donations and Sue even makes snacks for the students herself. The school was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


High School Spirit Award: Jeannette Senior High School, Jeannette, Pa.  

This school consistently recruits 25% of its eligible student population to donate blood. About 165 of the school’s students are age eligible to donate blood. Jeannette High School holds two blood drives a year, netting approximately 80 donations.


Mr. Doug Lawson is the long time blood drive coordinator/teacher who is loved by all of the students. When he asks the students to sign up to donate, it doesn’t take much convincing because they know he believes in this event. They make the blood drive even more appealing by soliciting food donations from the local Jeannette pizza shops and also make certain there is plenty of pizza for all of our collections staff as well.


The school’s administration, teachers and community are all very supportive of the blood drive..  The school permits the Red Cross to spend an entire day doing individual classroom presentations which truly makes a difference in this small group setting.

Lawson and his student leaders accepted the award on June 5.


Hospital Partnership Award: Nason Hospital, Roaring Spring, Pa.

This 45-bed hospital hold six Red Cross blood drives annually collecting an average of 26 units at each drive. Laboratory Supervisor Becky Jacobs personally volunteers at each blood drive to ensure each donor receives the employee incentive program that is offered. She uses the Red Cross online appointment system, sends email reminders, links to schedule on the intranet and markets it throughout the hospital. The hospital supplies the refreshments for donors and does a tremendous job at each blood drive. Becky was present at the June 5 event to accept the award.



Legacy of Caring Award: Betsy Moore, Annual Kaelyn Wellman In Honor Of Blood Drive, Ashland, Ky.

Betsy Moore coordinates the Red Cross blood drives held at Poage Elementary School in In Honor of local resident Kaelyn Wellman. In December 2008, Kaelyn was a 24-year-old senior at Morehead State University when she suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident. This accident has caused her to remain in a health care facility. This blood drive has become an annual event held each year on or around February 14, Valentine’s Day, to express giving from the heart. These blood drives have netted an average of 75 blood donations per blood drive.


Betsy gets the whole elementary involved, teachers, staff and students. This has become a school project with community involvement.  Betsy makes sure most of the teachers are assisting in some capacity at the blood drive, greeting donors or assisting with refreshments.  The students have incorporated the blood region’s Pint Size Heroes program into their recruitment efforts.  Posters are made by classes to display on the walls for the drive.  Crafts are made in honor of Kaelyn. None of this would be possible if not for Betsy’s efforts; she is the first person there to unlock the doors for Red Cross blood drive staff to set up and the last one to make sure the lights are turned off.


In addition, Betsy is a longtime blood donor. She gets this from her father, Eulas Hayes, among those recognized for their service at the Ashland Fire Station blood drive. Betsy’s daughter, Amanda, now donates blood and is in the process of starting her own Pint Size Hero drive at the elementary where she teaches.


Legacy of Caring Award: Dale Cottrill and Family, Bridgeport, W. Va.

Dale, age 13, resides with his family in Bridgeport, W. Va. He has leukemia and receives blood transfusions to treat a bone disorder resulting from a side effect of medicines he receives. Before he can reach remission he has at least two more years of painful treatments and continued blood transfusions. The Red Cross has partnered with his family on annual In Honor Of blood drives. His story also appeared in the blood region’s monthly donor recruitment mailer in December 2011. He has also recorded telephone messages sent to current blood donors. Dale and his family are always willing to travel with their local Red Cross donor representative to churches or civic organizations to speak about Dale’s experiences.


Dale, who is home-schooled, loves West Virginia University sports and serves as the team manager for the church league basketball team. He has met many WVU players and his dream was to be one of them someday. With his condition it is not likely this will ever happen. 


The Cottrill family accepted the award during the June 5 event.


Most Improved High School Award: Jefferson High School, Shenandoah Junction, W. Va.

Having outgrown the designated space for the blood drives held at Jefferson High School, the Red Cross and JRROTC program were granted unprecedented permission to use an auxiliary gym for blood drives. Jefferson High School steadily increased its participation during its 2011-12 school year blood drives, going from 40 units to 52 and a final 73 productive units. This represents a 100% increase over the previous school year. The school has already secured dates for Fall 2012 and has suggested it can reach a blood drive goal of 100 productive units. The school was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Outstanding Religious Group Sponsor: Knights of Columbus, Father O’Hanlon Council #4678, State College, Pa.

The State College Knights of Columbus holds six blood drives annually with the American Red Cross, averaging over 40 donations each blood drive the last two years. Since March 2006, we the council’s blood drives have netted 1,876 units of blood, which helped to save up to 5,628 lives. Mike Berrena of the Knights of Columbus accepted the award during the meeting.


Outstanding Religious Group Sponsor: Salem United Brethren Church, Chambersburg, Pa.

For many years, this church has provided the site for the region’s quarterly two-day blood drives for Letterkenny Depot employees. The Letterkenny blood drives have netted nearly 2,500 donations the past two years. In addition, the church permits the Red Cross to use the site for three days each drive, the first day to set-up the day before the blood drives. The church was unable to send a representative to the meeting and its award will be presented at a later time.


Pint Size Heroes Award: Bellefonte Elementary and Middle Schools, Bellefonte, Pa.  

These schools collaborated on a first-time Pint Size Heroes drive last May, which was also in memory of a fellow student who had recently passed away. The initial blood drive netted 109 units of blood. The school’s PIN (Parent Information Network), with great support from Karen Truesdale, sponsors the drive, which this year has expanded to three elementary schools. Karen went above and beyond, personally visiting community churches and businesses. She set up an all-school assembly and coordinated the return of pledge cards. The scholarship dollars earned were awarded to a graduating high school senior as part of the “Ryleigh Benninghoff Memorial Blood Drive Scholarship,” a practice that will continue for the schools’ future blood drives. Karen accepted the awards on behalf of the schools and the PIN program.


Private High School of the Year Award: Bishop McCort Catholic High School, Johnstown, Pa.

Bishop McCort held its first Red Cross blood drive in 1990 and now holds two blood drives annually, and also encourages students to hold a scholarship drive during the summer.  During the previous four years blood drives held during the school year netted just over 165 units annually. During 2011-12, a total of 186 donations were given during the school year. The school’s January blood drive earned it a spot in the list of Everyday Community Sponsors published in USA Today in recognition of achieving 110% of the assigned goal.


The school’s efforts, led by the National Honor Society and student advisor Mary Clare Piatek, include sign-up tables, the school’s intranet, Facebook and direct recruitment. The school ensures that sufficient trained volunteers are in place. It is a Bishop McCort tradition that parents donate early in the morning before going to work, while behind the scenes in a kitchen down the hall, students cook them a homemade breakfast using fresh bacon, eggs, and bread picked up that morning from a generous local business.


Each student volunteer wears a red Bishop McCort High School T-shirt. In a school where uniforms are required, the National Honor Society students were permitted to stand out for the event on this special day and show pride in their school.


Bishop McCort High School will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary beginning in June, and plans to involve the American Red Cross in this celebration by hosting a special homecoming blood drive on a larger scale, inviting alumni and parents of past students to participate. Principal Ken Salem, blood drive coordinator Mary Clare Piatak and several students were present to accept the award.


School Sponsor Coordinator Award: Jesse Scott, Penn State Engineering Graduate Student Council, University Park, Pa.

When the blood drive coordinator for Penn State’s College of Engineering retired three years ago, no single person was interested in becoming the Blood Drive Coordinator. The Graduate Student Council agreed to head up these drives, working with the Undergraduate groups within the College. Jesse Scott has served as the primary blood drive coordinator for the past three years. He schedules and confirms room reservations at least a year out. Using an electronic scheduling system for both donors and volunteers, he recruits the number of people needed for each.  He always requests and effectively uses the eligible donor list.  He either calls or emails all those people individually. As a result, Jesse’s donor schedules on average are more than 80% filled before the drive.  He also takes care of all the publicity for the drive, which includes posters, chalkboarding, and getting the information out through the College’s email and newsletter system. In addition, he coordinates food donations given by the staff of the College of Engineering.


Since the Graduate Student Council assumed responsibility, the group has doubled its annual blood drives from two to four, with the two added drives occurring during May and July. During the summer the council relies on the faculty, staff, and graduate students to reach goal and Jesse does a superb job of making that happen. Last year these drives netted 136 donations.


For its drives during the fall and spring, the Council works with several undergraduate student organizations to make their drives successful. During the past three years they have collected 102% of their goal or 384 for 375.  Overall, the College of Engineering blood drives under the directions of the Graduate Student Council and Jesse Scott have collected 520 units for their goal of 540 in the past three years for an operational efficiency of 96.3%.


Jesse received his award during the June 5 event.


University of the Year Award: Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa.

Last year’s University Spirit Award winner, Slippery Rock University hasn’t rested on its laurels during the 2011-12 school year. This past year the university nearly doubled its collections over last year, netting 536 donations. During the 2010-11 school year, 275 donations were given through the Red Cross. The Red Cross hold five blood drives annually, and each has a special theme: September was Heroes, October was Rocky Horror Blood Bash, November  was Novembuuuur, March was Relay for Life and May was the Greek drive. Chloe Rout of the Red Cross Club and Laurel Dagnon, Program Director of Community Service Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, provide great support. Based on sign-ups and production, the Red Cross had to increase goals for each of the university’s blood drives this past school year. Slippery Rock University has already committed to five blood drives for the 2012-13 school year. Laurel and Chloe were among those present to accept the award on the university’s behalf.


University Spirit Award: Penn State Parking Office, University Park, Pa.   

The Penn State Parking Office is instrumental in the success of the donation program on the Penn State Campus. Parking permits are supplied to community volunteers who are scheduled for campus blood drives. The office has also given the field rep two “all area” permits allowing flexibility when attending planning meetings and blood drives. 


The parking office staff is very willing to work with Red Cross vehicles allowing the truck leniency in parking near the blood drive site. David Dorman and Jean Harris, in particular, are willing to meet the field rep or field her calls to work out parking issues. 


In the last couple months in an effort to help with parking congestion on campus, the Parking Office has begun giving the Red Cross parking permits for the closest parking deck for all staff vehicles other than the truck. This allows the vehicles to park at close to the drive but not in illegal areas at the site. 


Red Cross Self-Contained Units are used on campus three times per year and pose special challenges. Many times the “best” spot for us is in front of dumpsters, at loading docks, or in area that take up parking spaces in staff lots. Dave works with the field rep for the best solution at each of these locations. The Parking Office knows in advance where and when the self-contained unit will be in these location and they allow parking spaces to be blocked off to accommodate the donor van, if necessary.  


On top of all of this, there is a loyal group of donors within the office who donate regularly. 

David and Jean accepted the award on behalf of the Penn State Parking Office during the June 5 event.


Unsung Heroes Award: Barbara Musick, Clarksburg, W. Va.  

A long-time Red Cross volunteer, Barbara serves in the capacity of volunteer blood drive coordinator in the North Central West Virginia Chapter, which covers: Barbour, Doddridge, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Randolph and counties. Barbara takes care of getting volunteers for blood drives in all of those counties that the sponsor does not supply their own. She make sure all blood drive information is sent to local media outlets as well as calling secure facilities to register volunteers with the blood drive coordinator for clearance. The North Central WV Chapter’s excellent relationship with blood services partly due to Barbara. She was unable to attend the event and will receive her award at a later time.