Salesianum School Blood DriveBlood Drives Saves Lives in the Salesian Tradition

Tony Prado '90
Salesianum School demonstrated its commitment to community health through two successful blood drives—a school-wide and an alum drive. The Fall Semester Blood Drive, held on November 30th, booked 56 appointments and collected 56 units on the dot. "That was amazing," said Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) Director of Donor Recruitment Joanna Arat, an alum of Ursuline Academy. 

Arat and BBD Account Manager Gia Rivera were on location when New York Blood Center Enterprises Senior Vice President Patricia Killeen and BBD Vice President Beau Tompkins visited Salesianum on Thursday. Inspired by Salesianum students who interned at BBD, Killeen expressed excitement about the potential for future growth. Beau Tompkins, overseeing BBD Communications Specialist Tony Prado '90, acknowledged the positive relationship and discussed expanding blood drives at Salesianum.

Father Brian Zumbrum, Salesianum's blood drive coordinator, explored the possibility of quarterly blood drives, aiming for increased accessibility and reduced infrastructure demands. The fall semester drive attracted a diverse group, with over 80% of student donors being first-timers. Noteworthy first-time contributors included 16-year-olds Noah Filliben and Cameron Cairns, Salesianum juniors, Alumni Service Corps member Matthew Skorup, and senior Danual Campbell. Cameron said, "I'm trying to do my part. I wanted to help people." Salesianum Athletic Director Katie Godfrey, representing the football team unable to donate due to a state championship game, stepped in to contribute. "I just want to help out anywhere I can," she said. "I know blood is needed in the area, so I'm happy to step in."

Our Salesianum Alumni also supported the Blood Bank by continuing their tradition of giving during the fourth annual Blood Drive on November 30th, contributing to 26 donors this year. Originating in 2020, the drive, led by Salesianum Alumni Association then-President Mike Querey and Alumni Affairs Director Joseph Rapposelli, sought to address the seasonal decline in donations during the holiday season.

The Salesianum Alumni Association Blood Drives, evolving from 29 donors in 2020 to 26 in 2023, showcased the ongoing commitment of Salesianum graduates to the community. The location shift to Abessinio Stadium, adjacent to Salesianum School, facilitated participation. Alumni, including familiar names like Tim Ratsep, Chris Hausler, and Chris Flaherty, cited the proximity and ties to Salesianum as motivating factors. First-time donor Chris McCreary emphasized the constant need for blood, inspired by friends and the call from the Salesianum Alumni Association. For Chris Flaherty, this was his second time donating blood. He said Facebook posts by fellow 1990 grad Tony Prado, who works for the Blood Bank of Delmarva, and other friends inspired him to donate blood. That, and the notification from the Salesianum Alumni Association, brought him in today. "I saw the demand for it," he said. "Being a police officer, I've seen officers hurt in the line of duty and needed blood. So, it just inspired me."

Both events highlighted the compassion within the Salesianum community, contributing significantly to the Blood Bank of Delmarva. Thank you to everyone who made both blood drives a success. We look forward to continuing our partnership with BBD to make a positive impact in the future.