SWEETWATER COUNTY — Green River High School (GRHS) and Rock Springs High School (RSHS) are battling it out in a friendly school rivalry this week while also contributing to a good cause by participating in the 15th Annual High School Blood Drive Challenge.
Every year the schools and communities donate blood to help address the need for blood while also letting their cross-county rivalry thrive. Green River won the blood drive last year, not only beating Rock Springs but also donating more blood than each of the other nine schools across the state who participated.
GRHS Strives For Another Consecutive Win
GRHS is looking to add another year onto their tally of wins. Senior Class President Triston Drozd said that the student body is looking to collect another win to add to their last two victories.
“I’m donating to beat Rock Springs and win the blood drive for our third consecutive year,” Drozd said.
He said of course helping those in need of blood is the main reason to donate, but that third win sure would be nice.
Marisa DeClerqc, GRHS Student Council Supervisor, said the school seems to have had a good turnout at both the community drive that took place Tuesday, as well as the school drive on Thursday.
“People just love the cause. The bigger picture is we’re helping address the blood shortage,” DeClerqc said. “But also we love beating Rock Springs.”
It seems the rivalry is alive and well with those donating for the cause, however they all acknowledge the sentiment of the “bigger picture.” Junior Kaylee Noyes said beating Rock Springs is a big motivator to donate, however she said she also feels it is important to help out if you’re able-bodied.
“Donating blood is super important if you’re able to,” Noyes said. “And I get a shirt.”
Junior Ryley Johnson said it is nice to donate and help other people, and the competition is a lot of fun.
“I like the competition a lot. That’s exciting,” Johnson said.
For some, donating is a bit more personal and they feel it is their duty. English teacher Kayla Majhanovich said she donates blood every year.
“I’ve had family members who’ve needed blood in the past, and I think it’s my duty to help out those in need. It’s also a great way to help out the school which I’m so dedicated to,” Majhanovich said.
Jasper Kennah, a Junior, was excited to donate for the first time. They felt it is their duty to donate in place of their father who is no longer able to due to his battle with leukemia.
“He donated blood for like 15 years and now he hasn’t been able to,” they said. “I think it’s my duty to donate for those less fortunate.”
Student Body Activities Chair Alexa Alatorre and Student Body Secretary Kenia Zarate both noted that this blood drive is an important community event as it addresses a need that ultimately helps other.
“It brings attention so more people donate,” Alatorre said.
“It’s important to give back and help the community because the community supports us in so many different events,” Zarate said.
RSHS ‘Bleeds Orange’
On Wednesday, the Rock Springs High School Student Council hosted a student, staff, and community blood drive. The day didn’t start out as planned when they found out Vitalant workers couldn’t start until 11 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. However, the students, staff, and volunteers didn’t let that hiccup prevent them from rescheduling donor appointments and making sure things were running smoothly.
RSHS Student Council President Hudson Garner said the Council and its advisor have been working together to make sure the event was ready. He added that the Vitalant employees have been very nice and great to work with.
“It’s nice to know that you’re doing something that goes to a better cause,” Garner said.
He said the blood donated this week could go to a friend, family member, neighbor, or someone you have never met before. Garner said he thought Monday’s community blood drive was a big success and it appeared to him that there were more donating than last year.
While some students were all about donating blood to beat Green River High School in the friendly competition, others were more about the cause of saving someone’s life.
Garner is one of those who donates for the cause, but also wouldn’t mind beating Green River this year.
“I’m not a fan of needles. That’s the only scary part,” Garner said. However, he sets that aside for the blood drive. He has donated at least eight times over the years.
Student Council secretary Hadley Banks said they Council worked hard this year to try and get students signed up to donate so they can win the challenge against Green River.
“We lost last year and that’s embarrassing,” Banks said.
While Banks wants to win the challenge this year, she said the most important reason to donate blood is to save lives. That’s bigger than any rivalry.
Senior Karson Curtis, who was donating blood for the second time, said he was donating “to help out where I can and to beat Green River.”
Senior Hallie May, who was a second time donor, said she was donating because “I heard about the national blood shortage and figured I should do my part.”
Results from the blood drive will be announced during the Rock Springs vs. Green River basketball games on Thursday, February 2, in Green River. Last year, the schools collected a total of 566 pints of blood in four days, which was enough to save more than 1,700 lives.
Regardless of the reason why students, staff, and community members decided to donate blood during this year’s challenge, everyone wins when lives are saved.