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Hempfield grad recognized for service to Red Cross

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

The contributions of a 2013 graduate of Hempfield Area High School graduate were recognized during the annual meeting of the 100-county American Red Cross Blood Services, Greater Alleghenies Region.

Tom Lawson, who was unable to attend the meeting, received the Youth Volunteer Award during an awards assembly this month at the high school.

“Recipients of these awards were selected by a group of Red Cross volunteers and staff members, and represent the highest quality of service to the Red Cross and hospital patients,” said Bob Lawn, chair of the region's volunteer board of directors.

Lawson, a three-year member of student council who served as president this past school year, has been among the most active blood drive coordinators in Westmoreland County, the Red Cross said.

The school generally has more than 200 donor sign-ups for its fall and spring blood drives and collects an average of 125 or more units per drive. The school's blood drive this past March was its best ever, with 158 donations.

Lawson coordinated and scheduled all of the sign-ups, personally called businesses to solicit donations and often wrote all of the thank-you cards. He held orientation meetings with student council members. In addition, he scheduled workers on blood drive day and followed up on their success throughout the day.

“Overall, he takes a very personal approach and attitude toward the overall success of the drive, and takes it very personally if things do not go as planned,” his faculty adviser wrote. “This is probably his best overall quality, not because others will judge him, but rather because this is what he expects of himself.”