Irene’s bell to ring at ‘Country Fun’ blood drive



FORT LORAMIE — Bashful blood donors beware, Irene’s bell will ring again at the St. Michael’s Hall “Country Fun Blood Drive” Tuesday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 33 Elm St., Fort Loramie.

Everyone who registers to donate will be entered in a grand prize drawing to win two passes for all three days of the July 7 to 9 “Country Concert 22” in Fort Loramie and will receive the “Step Up to the Plate” t-shirt. Schedule an appointment at or by calling 937-461-3220.

The blood drive is dedicated to Irene Boerger, who served as the Community Blood Center account representative in Shelby County for 38 years and passed away Nov. 13, 2021 at the age of 94. Organizers have set the ambitious goal of registering 500 donors, a high bar by even Irene’s standards. They’ll track the progress during the blood drive on a blood drop display.

“I know it’s big, I know it’s really big,” said Boerger’s daughter Diane Meyer, a platelet donor with 341 lifetime donations who is helping coordinate the blood drive with Jane Poeppelman and Roger Bender. “We set the goal for 500 and it’s really close. So, for mom’s sake I hope we can. I know she is watching from above. We are really hoping this drive will make a big difference.”

Boerger wanted blood drives to be both productive and fun when she as at the helm and the Country Fun Blood Drive will celebrate that tradition.

There will be drawings for door prizes every half hour, and additional “pint for a pint” drawings every half hour for adult donors to win a free beer from Loramie Brewing Company. All donors will enjoy ice cream sandwiches in the Donor Café.

Volunteer support and many of the door prizes come from St. Michael’s traditional blood drive sponsors the Fort Loramie Community Service Club, St. Michael Catholic Church, American Legion Auxiliary, and Knights of St. John.

Long-time donors remember the bell Boerger would ring during blood drives to celebrate anyone completing a milestone donation.

“All five of us will be there, children and grandchildren,” Meyer said. “We’ll be wearing mom’s shirts with her picture on it from her anniversaries with the blood center and when she retired. We’ll have mom’s bell and we’ll be ringing mom’s bell.

“She would go up to people and say, ‘You know, you only need one more donation and you’ll be at a certain number of gallons.’ She always knew who was coming up next, so she’d be prepared at the next mobile.”

Donors will be greeted at the blood drive by a poster of Irene where they can attach a butterfly sticker.

“My mom had this thing about butterflies,” Meyer said. “It was kind of a symbol to mom of a new beginning to life, to start over after dad died. She dedicated herself to the blood center. It’s also a good symbol because giving the gift of life was perfect. It goes back to new beginnings. It’s a symbol of what these donors do for other people.”