Daniel Boone Student Receives $500 Scholarship From Marsh Regional As Winner Of Holiday Contest

Holly WagnerJONESBOROUGH – Holly Wagner had worked blood drives since she was a freshman at Daniel Boone High School and was a strong believer in donation.

But when her father needed open-heart surgery last year, she recognized an opportunity and a responsibility to advance the cause further.

“That made me realize my family members might need blood at any moment to save their lives,” Holly said. “My family means everything to me, so this inspired me to become even more active in promoting blood donation.”

Now 17 and a senior, she has started donating and hosted a blood drive at Marsh Regional Blood Center’s Kingsport donor center. Held in early January, the drive attracted 46 donors. Because each unit of blood can save as many as three lives, Holly’s leadership made a positive difference for about 140 people.

Marsh Regional, which supplies blood to 17 local hospitals, honored her actions on Thursday, March 6, at the Washington County Board of Education meeting. Director Don Campbell presented her with a $500 scholarship, the prize for winning Marsh Regional’s second annual Holiday Heroes contest.

“Holly is a remarkable young lady whose efforts with this drive and throughout the year have greatly impacted the area’s quality of life,” Campbell said. “She is an outstanding example of a young person embracing one’s civic responsibilities and leading by example.”

Social media was a key tool for Holly as she recruited people to participate in the event. She also spoke to people at church and her family, and many of her friends spread the word.

Holly’s drive helped ensure Marsh had enough blood for the area’s patients during a time of year when blood donations typically drop because of weather and holiday activities.

“To have 46 people come to the drive and save so many lives is amazing,” Holly said. “It has always been inspirational to see people donate blood, and it was impressive to know we were capable of drawing so many people to our drive.”

This drive was the latest example of a long-standing partnership between Marsh Regional and high schools throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Marsh Regional conducts blood drives at 37 area high schools, and some of them hold one multiple times during the school year. Just four days after Holly was honored, Daniel Boone held another blood drive.

Marsh Regional also recognizes students who have regularly donated by providing a cord for them to wear when they graduate.

In addition, the blood center will offer six $1,000 scholarships to deserving students this year and six $500 grants to high schools. To grow this annual program even more, Marsh Regional is holding a golf tournament on Friday, April 25, at Warrior’s Path Golf Course in Kingsport.

For more information about blood donation and scholarship opportunities, please visit www.marshblood.com or connect at www.facebook.com/MarshBlood and @Marsh_Blood.