Students Against Destructive Decisions -- the SADD Club -- at Hamilton Heights High School has made some rewarding choices.
When members rolled up their sleeves to conduct a spring blood drive, all they wanted to do was boost the Indiana Blood Center's supply. They did that, and they wound up winning the Colts Blood Drive Challenge, which will bring Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders to Arcadia to cheer for an hour at a game.
Even better, by winning that challenge, the school has been entered into another competition where it could win $10,000 for a program of the students' choice.
The SADD Club, sponsored by School Resource Officer Brad Osswald, promoted the drive, lent muscle to set up tables and chairs, and registered donors. The students recruited 135 classmates, teachers, staff, parents and community residents to donate.
With 179 seniors enrolled, Heights was the smallest among the five schools invited to be part of the challenge, said Osswald. In comparison, McCutcheon, the largest in the challenge with 438 seniors, had 26 donors.
Make no mistake: school-based drives help people who need blood, no matter the number of donors. Nearly 20 percent of the blood center's annual donations are given at high school drives, according to the IBC website. Last year, 184 high schools hosted 555 drives. Combined, they drew a whopping 34,548 units of blood.
"High school students are wonderfully generous and civic-minded," said Chris Crane, IBC recruitment manager, in a news release. "It is a generation that cares about making an impact and does so without expecting a thank you. (Giving blood) is an anonymous donation to a patient in need. Knowing that seems to be all the students need to hear."
Odds are, though, that the HHHS students also will like hearing Colts cheerleaders rev up a Husky crowd and team. Osswald is working on those arrangements, hoping to have the women come to homecoming on Oct. 1.
To win the new challenge, Heights must host fall and spring blood drives. The dates haven't been set, but the SADD Club is aiming for early November for the fall one. Watch the HHHS daily announcements, which are posted on the school's website, for more details.