KINGSPORT — Thomas Walker, Sullivan North and Dobyns-Bennett high schools each recently received $500 grants for leading their size classifications in blood donations.
High school students across the region gave more than 3,200 units of blood this year, and three were chosen to receive $500 scholarships.
To thank those student donors, Marsh Regional Blood Bank recently held a drawing for three $500 scholarships for high school seniors and three grants for participating schools.
Students’ names were randomly drawn from categories based on school size, with one student from each division winning a scholarship. Schools earned their grants by having the highest donation rates for their categories.
The scholarship program began after administrators with Marsh Regional realized almost 15 percent of its blood supply comes from high school students, said Don Campbell, the center’s director. Marsh Regional’s inaugural scholarship and grant recipients are:
• Hunter Masters, Daniel Boone High School. Masters, a senior, plans to attend Wofford College in South Carolina.
• Caleb McNeese, Unicoi County High School. McNeese plans to attend Milligan College in the fall.
• Andrea Mitchell, Honaker High School. Mitchell plans to attend Southwest Virginia Community College in the fall.
Among school grants:
• Thomas Walker in Ewing, Va., was the small school winner. Coordinated by Junior ROTC Col. Mark Caruso and principal Terry Welch, the school experienced a 177 percent increase in donations this year, with 64 donors from the senior class.
• Sullivan North in Kingsport was the medium school winner. The school experienced a 147 percent increase in donations. The school’s drives were coordinated by Sonya Owens with the school’s Health Occupations Students of America organization.
• Dobyns-Bennett in Kingsport was the large school winner. D-B received 359 donations, up 84 percent over last year’s total. The school’s drives were coordinated by Linda Fisher and Rebecca Watson with the Health Occupations Students of America organization.
To donate, students must be at least 17 years old, weigh 120 pounds or more and be in good health. Those seniors who did not qualify to donate were still entered for the scholarship drawing if they found a replacement donor and submitted a 100-word essay about the importance of blood donation.
People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or who are taking antibiotics may not donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood and be in good health.
For more information about blood donation, call (423) 224-5888 or go to www.marshblood.com.