GOSHEN – For the second year in a row, of all the small schools in the Hudson Valley, Burke Catholic had the highest percentage of students in its junior and senior classes donate blood at its spring blood drive. The outstanding effort of students and staff didn’t go unnoticed.
On June 18, World Blood Donor Day, representatives of Burke Catholic were recognized during a special on-field ceremony at Yankee Stadium. Students Gianna Tondo, Kristina Ferrara, and Aaron McCartney accepted their school’s championship banner prior to enjoying a Yankee Game with representatives of other schools from across the state.
“Burke Catholic isn’t a big school, but we had a huge number of people come out to donate blood. I would never have imagined that I would have the opportunity to go on the Yankee Stadium field to represent my school,” said McCartney. “It was a great honor!”
Burke Catholic holds two blood drives annually, one in the fall and one in the spring. But this year was special. The spring blood drive held in April honored Lou Wengenroth, a beloved Burke Catholic math teacher who passed away in January of this year.
“Mr. Wengenroth taught at Burke Catholic for nearly 30 years, and the students’ overwhelming outpouring of support for the blood drive in his memory was a fitting tribute,” said Burke Catholic nurse Kathleen Kish who has organized the Burke Catholic blood drives for years. “They were thrilled to be recognized at the Yankee Game.”
Since 1996, The New York Yankees have teamed up with New York Blood Center (NYBC) to save lives in communities statewide through the New York Yankees High School Blood Donor Championship. More than 50,000 blood donations were made at high school blood drives sponsored by the New York Blood Center this school year.