BSM blood drive returns in a new way


Knight Errant File Photo

In past years, students lined the Wrestling Room during the school day to give blood. This year, the event was held outdoors on a Saturday.

Sarah McGurl, Staff Writer

After being cancelled last May due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the blood drive has finally made its return to BSM. On Saturday May 15, the blood drive took place outside of the Haben and was open to both BSM faculty and students. 

The blood drive was performed by Memorial Blood Centers of Minnesota which has been partnering with BSM for almost 25 years. While Memorial Blood Centers was performing the drive, Latin teacher and NHS advisor Mr. Rob Epler was in charge of planning and coordinating the event. Epler had some assistance from the NHS blood drive chairs: seniors Michelle Doering, Oriana Sampson, Sage Waymire-Rozman, and juniors Lauren Alinder, Elena Latterell, and Sarah Portz. “In normal years, the student blood drive chairs would be handling more of the planning and donor recruitment, but especially since this drive is on a Saturday, and since we didn’t recruit donors during school as usual, more of it ended up falling to me,” Epler said. 

Similar to other events that have gone on this year, many things had to be changed in order to adhere to Covid restrictions and make the blood drive a reality. The fall blood drive had to be completely scrapped because there was no way for it to happen with the old Covid restrictions, but by moving the drive into a bloodmobile parked outside rather than inside the wrestling room like past years, the drive was finally able to happen. Recruiting donors looked different this year as well.  “We’ve always recruited live, canvassing the cafeteria during lunches the week before the drive, but this time we had to do it all online,” Epler said. 

Around 35 units of blood were collected at the drive with contributions from primarily students along with several faculty and parents. Although this number is fewer than years past, Epler was happy with the results. “It was fewer than we would normally get for an on-campus, during-school blood drive, but it ended up being a better turnout than I expected/feared, so I’m pretty happy with the results,” Epler said. 

Year after year, Epler has been putting in hard work and planning to make sure every blood drive runs smoothly, and this year definitely was no exception. This year marks Epler’s last year as an NHS advisor, and therefore, his last year organizing blood drives. “This is my last year as the NHS adviser at BSM, and this is turning out to be my 40th blood drive, so it feels like a nice round number to go out on,” Epler said.