FORT LORAMIE — Sharon Holdheide is one of the hundreds of Fort Loramie donors who help make the Community Blood Center blood drives at St. Michael’s Hall the largest in Shelby County. But she’s the only St. Michael’s donor to claim the grand prize in the “Build a Better Blood Supply Summer Blood Drive” campaign.
Everyone who registered to donate blood with CBC from May 29 through Sept. 1 was automatically entered in the drawing to win the $5,000 home improvement gift card. By the end of summer there were nearly 19,000 entries.
Sharon entered the drawing when she donated June 19 at the St. Michael’s Hall “Country Fun Blood Drive.” It was her 69th lifetime blood donation, and it turned out to be very lucky. Her name was randomly chosen by computer as the contest winner.
“I started donating blood when I was 16 years old,” Holdheide said. “My dad always donated and encouraged us to, as well. Those of us that could always tried to help out.”
Her husband, Dave, also came from a family of donors, and their children, Emily and Alan, donate.
“It always felt great to hit a gallon milestone and to know we were helping someone out,” she said. “We might need blood sometime and I’ll sure be glad someone donated to save one of our lives.”
CBC’s Kathy Pleiman presented the $5,000 Lowe’s gift card to Sharon and her daughter Emily at the Oct. 16 St. Michael’s Hall blood drive. Neighbors and Fort Loramie Community Service Club volunteers celebrated her good fortune.
“Shut the front door!” exclaimed Chandra Goubeaux. “That’s awesome. Somebody we know!”
“That’s exciting,” said Angie DeMange. “I don’t know why I play the lottery. I never win!”
The goal of the “Build a Better Blood Supply” blood drive was to help CBC maintain a steady blood supply through the challenging summer months. That mission was accomplished with more than 16,000 units donated. Now the grand prize will help the Holdheide family make some home improvements.
“It’s very exciting,” said Holdheide. “We walked around Lowe’s one Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours and got a couple of ideas. We’re going to do some new hardwood flooring, and get something for Emily who just bought a house.
“They’re going to give me a lawn mower, which is good because I need one!” said Emily as she donated at St. Michael’s. “I’ve been borrowing theirs!”
The St. Michael’s fall blood drive reached 100 percent of the collection goal Tuesday with 235 donors, including 230 whole blood donations and 15 platelet and plasma donations.