For the first time, blood drives were held on both the Kansas City Kansas Community College main campus as well as KCKCC-TEC, a plan that worked out well for the student athletes at KCKCC and the Community Blood Center.
“The athletes and nursing students are our biggest supporters when it doesn’t conflict with their practices, games or nursing clinicals,” said Linda Sutton, director of student activities at KCKCC. “Valerie Stambersky (women’s basketball coach at KCKCC) contacted me and asked if the time could be extended because her team wanted to donate, but had missed the time (on the main campus) because of practice.”
In addition to Stambersky, Sutton said KCKCC baseball coach Steve Burleson had sent me an email stating that his team could not donate because they had a game on the original day of the blood drive. After speaking with the Community Blood Center and discovering that it was not possible to extend the day beyond the allotted time, Sutton said they came up with an alternative day, Oct. 17.
“The mini blood drive was a huge success,” she said. “The athletes donated 24 units (of blood) in a three-hour period.”
During the Oct. 15 blood drive, KCKCC collected 53 units, bringing the combined donations of the main campus and the student athletes to 77 units of blood. Sutton said the goal for the main campus was 54 units. The total units from the TEC are not yet available.
“The college has partnered with the Community Blood Center for over 35 years because they are the main provider of blood for the 75 hospitals in the area,” Sutton said. “They (the Community Blood Center) were impressed that our athletes would spend their Friday afternoon donating blood.”
Sutton said she is thankful to all of the coaches, athletes and the entire KCKCC Athletic Department for stepping up to donate “life-saving blood.”
“Also, a big thank you to Jeff Sixta and the Buildings and Grounds staff for their quick setup and getting the room ready for the mini blood drive,” she said. “And most of all, we were proud to dedicate these blood drives to Kelly Fehlhafer, who is currently receiving platelet transfusions. Kelly is the wife of Tom Fehlhafer who works at the TEC campus.”
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor with Kansas City Kansas Community College.