JHS blood drive draws 61 pints

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There seemed to be more foot traffic than usual heading into the Edward L. DiSimone Gymnasium last Wednesday morning.

The Robert A. Smith Memorial Court was dotted with adult personnel around 11:30 a.m. who were stationed at different places on the storied basketball court that’s also home of the basketball, wrestling and volleyball programs at Johnston High School.

The goings-on were the semi-annual JHS blood drive, hosted by the Panthers Student Council, which was set up by the Rhode Island Blood Center and happens twice a year at Cherry Hill.

Once completed, the blood drive received 61 pints – a record of sorts for the Winter Event – that a source close to the JHS Student Council reported was one more pint than a year ago. However, the Panthers’ record of 81 pints in the spring – that produced a prize last year – still stands.

The success of last week’s blood drive could be measured in one simple note: a promotion poster from the Rhode Island Blood Center read that the event would be held in the Upper Library at JHS. But the event needed more space and thus, RIBC officials requested to set up in the DiSimone Gymnasium.

“Today is a good [blood] drive,” offered Marie Lajoie, a nurse who helped coordinate the on-site event and whose husband has a connection to the Baseball Hall of Fame, as he’s a relative of the late and great legend Nap Lajoie from Woonsocket. “Things went well here.”

Lajoie was also assisted by Sue Lynch, one of many nurses the RIBC had on duty last week at JHS.

Meanwhile, a host of JHS students helped make the event a success, beginning with Emily Raposo, Ana Petrella and Jordan Oliveira, who manned the registration table inside the DiSimone Gym lobby.

The Blood Drive was for students ages 16 and 17, whos needed permission from their parents. During January, all presenting donors received a $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card.

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