Lions deliver smiles at Teddy Bears and Friends Blood Drive


GREENVILLE – Lions and lambs are said to make peace at Christmas time.

The Darke County Lions get along fine with plush penguins and puppies, especially at the 23rd annual “Teddy Bears and Friends Blood Drive” Tuesday at the Greenville Church of the Brethren.

This year the Arcanum, Gettysburg, Greenville and Pitsburg Lions Clubs raised enough money to purchase 209 stuffed animals for young patients at Wayne HealthCare. Donors are invited to choose a doll for a child and sign a gift tag with messages of encouragement.

Plenty of good will was on the way, with 108 donors signing cards. The blood drive totaled 97 whole blood donors and 81 donations, plus 11 platelet and plasma donations.

“I think it’s a puppy,” Ansonia donor Lindsey Newbauer said of her choice for a child. “I like his big soulful eyes!”

An illuminated Nativity scene showed the way for donors to the Greenville Church of the Brethren. In the Fellowship Hall donor room, Tracy Stacy donated alongside the indoor Nativity. But a lamb was not her choice for a gift doll.

“Actually, it was a cow!” Stacy said. “I try to come here every eight weeks, but this is the first time I’ve donated at this blood drive.”

Sadly, the “Teddy and Friends” blood drive will be the final project for the Greenville Lions Club. The club is dissolving after 47 years of service and joining the Gettysburg Lions Club.

“I’ve been a member for 45 years, and I’ve been president 13 times,” outgoing Greenville Lions President Dick Helman said. “It was starting to be where we didn’t have enough people to do much of anything. Our youngest member is probably 60 years old. So that’s why we decided to go with Gettysburg and help them out.”

The members will look back with pride on the club’s successes, including 10 years as the top ice cream and milk shake vendor at the Great Darke County Fair. But they partnered recently with the Gettysburg Lions Club to purchase eye screening equipment for Greenville elementary students, so the merger is already a natural fit.

The growth of platelet and plasma donors has been a success at the blood drive. Ted Mangin made his 121st donation Tuesday.

“It was a little different,” Mangin said about becoming a platelet donor. “But now I kind of miss it if for any reason I’m not able to do it.”

The Lions and the donors all hope that the parade of stuffed animals from the Church of the Brethren over to Wayne HealthCare will put smiles on children’s faces and help with their healing.

“My kids love penguins. They seem to be happy animals,” Greenville’s Tammy Tollefson said as she signed the tag on a penguin before donating. “Penguins are good with boys and girls, so somebody will like it!”

Donors can connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at Individuals can get fast and complete answers on how to make their first donation, organize a blood drive or bring Community Blood Center’s education program to a school. People can get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to Community Blood Center’s social media pages or schedule an appointment to donate by connecting to

Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors also are asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (donors may have to weigh more, depending on their height) and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email [email protected] or call 1-800-388-GIVE. Donors can make an appointment at

Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to 25 hospitals and health centers within a 15-county service area in the Miami (Ohio) and Whitewater (Indiana)Valleys.

For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services, visit

Greenville Lions Club volunteers Dick Helman & Nancy McClurg gather stuffed animals for young patients at Wayne HealthCare. Lions Club volunteers Dick Helman & Nancy McClurg gather stuffed animals for young patients at Wayne HealthCare. Courtesy photo

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