UNION CITY – The focus of World Blood Donor Day was to celebrate young people and their enthusiastic support for voluntary blood donations on June 14th. FFA chapters at Ansonia and Mississanawa Valley high schools put their youthful energy to work on Monday, sponsoring the 12th grade FFA, “Grudge Match” blood donation at the Mississinawa High Jackson gym.
The objective of Grudge Match is to increase the blood supply during the summer months when there are no blood donations at school. The club with the most donor votes gets the Grudge Match trophy during the school year.
Host MVHS regained the trophy with a 23-9 donor vote. This broke Ansonia’s two-year winning streak and narrowed Ansonia’s lead in the series to 6-5-1.
The Grudge Match tradition remained alive in the summer of 2020, despite COVID-19’s restrictions on student donors and volunteers. Schools gradually returned to their routines in the spring semester of 2021, including proms and regular graduations. FFA students did most of their blood donation recruitment before the last day of school on June 4th.
“We’ve had 25 so far and that’s an achievement,” said Gwen Bergman, FFA Assistant MVHS Advisor. “We had more students. Generally, people in both communities like to support Grudge Match and I think it helps. ”
“We were at school every day,” said Emily Williams, consultant for Ansonia FFA. “We’ve had our blood donations throughout the year and they were pretty normal.”
“I only went to school two days a week last year,” said MVHS FFA senior member Gracie Townsend. She learned carpentry on the job at Miami Valley CTC and took academic classes online. She won the CBC Red Cord for making her third lifetime donation in Grudge Match.
Carrie Rhoades, senior and FFA vice president of Ansonia, volunteered in the Grudge Match with reporter A.J. Waymire and freshman Daniel Hartzell.
“It was hard to have our normal FFA events. We had to cancel a lot of things”, said Carrie. But she was encouraged by the spring changes. “We wore masks and had designated seats. No homecoming, but we had the dance. “
Aron Hunt, second-year member of FFA’s MVHS, made his first lifetime donation to Grudge Match. “My agriculture teacher, Ms. Hartzell, asked me to apply, so I did!” he said.
MVHS FFA counselor and blood donation co-coordinator Carmen Hartzell set the example for her students by donating on Monday. She looks forward to a more normal summer helping students with their FFA projects and, most importantly, anticipating a full return to the Great Darke County Fair, August 20-28.
“It wasn’t open to the public,” Carmen said of the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 Fair. “It wasn’t the full fair. There was the important part. It was a junior fair last year with 4-H and FFA exhibitions. But I’m a food person, and it wasn’t there! It makes you look forward to this year. ”
Donors must provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Former CBC donors must also bring their CBC donor identification card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or from the CBC agency and blood collection sites), weigh at least 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more , depending on your height) and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with questions about eligibility can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
MVHS second year and FFA member Aron Hunt made his first lifetime donation to Grudge Match.
FFA chapters in Ansonia and Mississanawa Valley high schools put their youthful energy to work on Monday by sponsoring the 12th annual FFA, “Grudge Match” Blood Drive at the Mississinawa High Jackson Gym. a vote of 23 to 9 donors.