Archive for Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Young 4’H’er helps drivers sign up for organ donations

April 27, 2005

When Nicole Oelschlaeger helped plan the Linwood Health Fair, she didn't count on becoming an organ donor.

All it took was getting the word out. Kaitlyn Saathoff, a Tonganoxie ninth-grader, set up her organ donation booth at the fair as part of her 4-H leadership project.

And before the day ended, about 20 who had attended the health fair had signed the organ donor blank on their driver's licenses.

Kaitlyn, the daughter of Mike and Missy Saathoff, is a member of Reno Bobwhites 4-H.

"It was just really encouraging to see how much she (Kaitlyn) wanted to help people," said Oelschlaeger, who is assistant librarian at the Linwood Library, which helped sponsor the health fair.

"I was encouraged by the fact that she knew so many people that really needed organs donated. It kind of hits close to home when you hear that."

Kaitlyn was pleased with the 20 people who signed their cards on Saturday, as well as the 20 faculty members who signed after she gave a speech in front of Tonganoxie teachers during Monday's teacher in-service meeting.

Oelschlaeger said she was impressed with the booths at the Linwood health fair, which included blood pressure checks, a car extrication demonstration, preschool development information, blood glucose tests and even Chuck Magaha, who is Leavenworth County's director of emergency preparedness, talking about storm protection and the importance of using weather-alert radios.

But Oelschlaeger said, if the Friends of the Library organization decides to hold the health fair again next year, she hopes more people will attend.

"We didn't have quite the attention we would have liked," Oelschlaeger said. "But we were also told there was a health fair in Lawrence two weeks before and a lot of people from Linwood showed up there."

Generally, when the library sponsors children's reading events, there's a good turnout, she added.

"We have 100 people come to our reading programs," Oelschlaeger said. "I guess I was just a little surprised."

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