LA GRANDE — Another chapter was added to a lifesaving La Grande High School tradition on Thursday, April 22.

An American Red Cross blood drive was conducted at La Grande High School and collected 38 units.

The total is consistent with what the school has drawn at blood drives for at least the past nine years, during which two blood drives have been conducted annually, said LHS science teacher Pat Des Jardin.

"The main focus of the blood drive is to provide LHS students with a chance to donate. The hope is that they have a good experience with us so they will continue to donate as long as they can in the future because the need for blood is constant," Des Jardin said.

LHS teachers and staff who make time to donate during hectic work days, Des Jardin said, bolster the blood drives.

"This often means that they are finishing their donation, and then rushing off to class to teach or work with students," Des Jardin said.

The student leader of the blood drive was Lauran Rinker, a member of La Grande High's National Honor Society chapter, whose members chair the blood drive. Rinker was the chairperson of both of LHS's blood drives this school year. Des Jardin praised the Rinker's work, noting she called the donors the night before, came in early to help setup and worked for the duration at both blood drives.

"Over the years it has been my pleasure to work with some really great students on this project," said Des Jardin, the advisor for the school's National Honor Society chapter.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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