Burke Catholic makes Halloween a day for giving the gift of life

More than 60 students take part in blood drive

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  • Burke Catholic junior Tiffany Ramos giving blood (Photo provided)

  • Burke Catholic Blood Drive co-captains Sienna Lee and Gianna Tondo (Photo provided)

— It’s known for tricks and treats, but Halloween was a day of giving the gift of life this year at Burke Catholic High School as more than 60 students took part in a fall blood drive.

Many of the student blood donors were dressed in costume. Even Burke Catholic’s emotional support dog, Logan, was dressed as the Cowardly Lion.

This was the first time junior Tiffany Ramos, who was dressed as a black cat, had ever given blood.

“I turned 16 in April, and I saw this as an opportunity to give to others,” Tiffany said. “I love that it’s on Halloween.”

Sponsored by the New York Blood Center, the event was organized by Burke Catholic nurse Kathleen Kish and blood drive senior co-captains Gianna Tondo and Sienna Lee.

“It’s a fun, spirited event,” said Sienna, who has aspirations of a career in anesthesiology. “We were only expecting about 30 donors, but more than 60 students signed up!”

The blood drive was dedicated to Sunrise Day Camp, a free summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings.

Gianna wants to one day be a pediatric surgeon with a focus on oncology.

“I worked at Sunrise Day camp over the summer,” she said. “This helps raise awareness of the camp’s important work and lets the patients know we’re always thinking of them.”

Senior Joy Watson, who was wearing Minnie Mouse ears, summed up what the day was all about: “I like the idea of saving somebody’s life.”

And Joy's donation might do even more, since just one blood donation can potentially save three lives.

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