Donating Money, Time and Blood


Photo by Brayden Tuers

Brayden Tuers and Molly Houser

//Brayden Tuers & Molly Houser//

Despite the long three-day-weekend, staff and students from various clubs dedicated their Saturday to a busy day at Vista. For one club, Saturday was highly anticipated, as they had been in planning since July. Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) sponsored a Pediatric Cancer Walk that morning. The walk was designed to raise money, as well as awareness, for youth cancer research.

“All of our proceeds go to [the Pediatric Cancer Foundation] and they have the main goal of partnering up with big hospitals to find a cure for pediatric research,” senior Emily Gillette said, a member of HOSA. “We had one-hundred people preregistered and they [each] donated fifteen dollars.”

The walk began at 10 a.m., and continued until 2 p.m., with a food-truck and multiple snack stations along the path.

“Every single HOSA member has to volunteer for at least an hour,” Gillette said. “Since International HOSA is sponsored with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, [this event] allows us to be recognized at State and support HOSA’s goals.”

In addition to the walk, Vitalant hosted a blood drive inside Vista’s commons that was organized as a tribute to survivors of leukemia. For English teacher Natalie Barnard, the blood drive held significant value. Her husband, Ross Barnard, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in June of this year.

“There are two kids who are actually from Valor, that are working on their big DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) project,” Natalie Barnard said. “They organized this blood drive, in honor of one of their uncles and Ross.”

The blood drive took place at 8 a.m, and ended at 12 p.m. It was estimated that the blood drive generated enough blood to save about 60 lives.

Interact Club also had a big day planned. High schoolers in the club joined forces with the middle schoolers to walk around Vista and pick up discarded trash.

“We’ve been doing it for the past couple years ever since I’ve been here,” senior Sam Garnett said. “We usually do it on Earth Day, but ever since a couple of years ago we’ve been doing it every semester because there is so much trash.”

With so many students willing to donate their Saturdays to various causes and events, the three day weekend sure came in handy.

“[We] are pretty dedicated to the stuff we do,” Garnett said.