CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend Blood Center honored some local heroes and celebrated hundreds of senior students who made a difference and donated blood this school year.
The organization held a luncheon at Mansion Royal on Tuesday to highlight Coastal Bend high-school seniors, teachers and staff who hosted blood drives and encouraged donations throughout the 2021-22 academic year.
The CBBC High School Hero Program is for students who are at least 17 years old. Those who donated blood three times during the year received a red cord to wear for their graduation.
Students who were unable to donate blood also could get a red cord if they recruited family or friends to donate five times on their behalf.
In total, 52 Coastal Bend high schools participated in the challenge, holding 280 blood drives and collecting 10,583 units of blood. The blood center awarded 1,849 cords this year.
"[We are] able to recognize these amazing high school students, and chairpeople — which is nurses and people that really champion these blood drives at their high schools," said Coastal Bend Blood Center Public Information Officer Ashley Ramirez. "We're super exited to be able to recognize these amazing individuals in our community."
Some students said they were scared at first to donate blood, but the call to give back was stronger.
"In this world it's not just about yourself, it's about others," said Bishop High School senior Katie Winters said. "And even though you are scared to do something, you can overcome it in order to save other people. Sometimes you have to overcome your fear in order to help someone else."
The Coastal Bend Blood Center also celebrated multiple schools, which generated the most blood donations this year. They were each awarded gift certificates to use on items that will benefit the school.
This year's winner by division are as follows:
1st Place: Veterans Memorial
2nd Place: Gregory-Portland
3rd Place: Flour Bluff
Honorable Mention: Foy H. Moody
1st Place: Sinton
2nd Place: Alice
3rd Place: Rockport-Fulton
Honorable Mention: Calallen
1st Place: Orange Grove
2nd Place: George West
3rd Place: Bishop
Honorable Mention: Mathis
1st Place: Port Aransas
2nd Place: Freer
3rd Place: Incarnate Word Academy
Honorable Mention: Agua Dulce
1st Place: Tuloso-Midway Academic Career Center
2nd Place: Benavides Secondary
3rd Place: Por Vida Academy
Honorable Mention: Annapolis Christian Academy
Top Recruiter: Emily Thamaravelil (GP)
Top Donor: Michael Nesbitt (GP)
Laptop Winner: Gavin Henkhaus (RF)
Rising Star: School of Science & Technology