The perfect place to make a lasting impact

May 13, 2015

Blood-bank-WEBSince the early 1960s, the Region XI School Employees Blood Bank ensured that public school district employees had access to donated blood whenever the need arose.

A foundation board made up of educators like Linda Honaker of Southlake championed the blood bank’s mission in Tarrant County and nine surrounding counties.

“People my age will remember these blood banks set up by civic groups and clubs once were common,” said Honaker, board treasurer, who joined in 1968. “We were a really active group.”

But years passed, and insurance plans and Medicare began to cover the cost of blood transfusions.  Board members who oversaw the Blood Bank grew older.

Finally, members realized, their job was done. The foundation would dissolve, but what would members do with its remaining funds? A survey of membership revealed a strong interest in supporting a nonprofit involved in scholarships and medicine

Honaker spotted a story in Solutions, a UNT Health Science Center publication, about the institution’s efforts to deliver health care to children in underserved communities. By coincidence, two Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine students were shadowing her family doctor, and they impressed her.

“The Health Science Center is doing so many incredible things that we decided it was the perfect place for our money to make a lasting impact in our community,” Honaker said. “This gift will benefit our children and our grandchildren for the future.”

The foundation gifted $50,000 to the Saint Luke the Physician Scholarship Challenge in which a donor has pledged a 2-to1 match of all scholarship gifts for TCOM students. An additional $67,000 will support groundbreaking research into a reliable early detection blood test for Alzheimer’s disease.

“The equipment provided by this generous gift will directly support our efforts for the creation of a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease within primary care clinics,” said Sid O’Bryant, PhD, Interim Director of the Institute for Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Research.

Other members of the Blood Bank Foundation Board are Darlene Chapman, Mary Hart, Jay Walsworth, Lee Stell Weathers and Executive Director Louis Tassione.

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