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ST. MARYS — Local high school seniors took time out of their school day to give back as part of an annual blood drive on Friday.
Memorial High School students hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross in their gymnasium, with high school seniors, their teachers and their administrators donating blood.
Memorial High School senior Joni Brown said Friday was her first time donating blood.
“I’m donating to help save lives,” Brown said while she was giving blood.
The Med Prep student also helped at the drive by supplying donators with drinks and snacks to keep them hydrated while they gave blood, and the Med Prep students also monitored the students after donating.
Blood drive coordinator and Memorial High School teacher Mike Jay said he had 118 students sign up to donate on Friday.
“That’s eight more than we’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s a new school record.”
Out of the 118 students who signed up, 78 pints of usable blood were obtained. With the average of three lives saved for each donated pint, the students therefore saved 234 lives
Jay noted the school has hosted the annual drive for approximately 10 years.
“It’s a good citizenship activity,” he said. “It’s a big drive for the Red Cross.”
Jay noted students helped set up the drive in the morning, and they would also help tear down once the drive ended on Friday.
“I’m donating to save lives,” senior Jenny Brown said before she gave blood.
Brown said it was her first time donating, and she was “a little nervous.”
“Like Jay said, if you pinch the inside of your elbow, that’s all the pain you feel,” fellow senior Jacob Barrett said.
Barrett noted he had given blood in the past.
“I’m donating today to save lives,” he said. “The bonus points are just an extra perk.”
Senior Michael Huber said Friday was his first time donating blood.
“It’s just a good deed,” Huber said of why he decided to donate. “You can save lives.”
Senior Zach Maas said he has had blood drawn for medical tests, but Friday was his first time donating blood.
“It’s a really good cause,” Maas said. “We watched a video in government class — you have the potential to save lives because your blood can go to three different people.”
Austin Slayton said he had a good overall experience giving blood on Friday.
“I had an excellent experience here,” Slayton said after he donated. “I wasn’t lightheaded or anything. I feel extremely good — I feel like I just saved three lives.”
The opportunity to help others was the reason Slayton gave for choosing to donate.
“Because it can save three people’s lives,” he said. “My blood is able to go to good things. It makes you feel so good knowing you have saved three lives.”
Jay also thanked the senior class for donating, for unloading the Red Cross truck and setting up the mobile donation area, for tearing down the mobile and re-loading the truck and for providing all of the donors.
He also thanked Mrs. Riesen who worked attendance and made out passes and the donor appointment list, Mrs. Nelson, who provided the Med Prep students for nursing assistance, Mrs. Langmeyer whose FCCLA and food classes provided cookies for the mobile canteen area, Memorial High School and St. Marys Middle School faculty and staff who donated blood during their prep periods, the maintenance department who provided tables and chairs for the mobile and Mr. Pohl and Mr. Lewis who provided supervision of the mobile.