Urbana donor Judie Dillon came to the “Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive” grand prize drawing Thursday, Sept. 21 at Community Blood Center with a four leaf clover in her pocket. She left with the keys to a sparkling new Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle.
Everyone who registered to donate with CBC from May 26 through Sept. 2 was automatically entered in the “Scouting for Donors” contest. Judie entered the drawing when she registered to donate at her employee blood drive at Rittal Corporation in Urbana. She was one of 10 computer-selected finalists invited to the final drawing for the Scout Sixty motorcycle.
Each finalist selected a sealed envelope. They opened them simultaneously on the count of 10. Judy’s contained the golden ticket for the grand prize winner.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen at all,” she said. “Then I saw gold. What are the odds of that?”
The odds were fairly slim. CBC completed the summer campaign with a total of 20,779 registrations to donate whole blood, platelets and plasma. The total included 1,604 first-time donors and 17,699 blood donations for 107 percent of the summer collection goal.
It was Judie’s dream to win the Scout Sixty. She rides on the back of her husband Casey’s Honda 750 and they had just traded for old Honda Rebel that doesn’t run.
“A friend of mine at work found a four leaf clover on his break and gave it me,” she said, pulling the carefully taped good luck charm from her pocket. “He said, ‘I want you to have this and I wish you good luck today.’”
Judie said she was optimistic, but didn’t want to get her hopes up. “Normally, we don’t win much,” she said. “Picking the envelope was the most difficult decision of my life.”
But one of the easiest decisions of her life was to become a blood donor. She’s not always able to successfully donate at Rittal, but she comes to every blood drive.
“I’m a donor because my dad died of lung cancer and heart disease,” she said. “My brother died of an aneurism. I wanted to give back as much as I can. I’ve seen them suffer. This is something I can do to help.”
She removed her bright pink sunglasses and wiped away a few tears. “If it wasn’t for you holding blood drives, I wouldn’t be here with a chance to ride this bike.”
Mark Pompilio is Public Relations/Marketing Associate with Community Blood Center.