ELLINGTON - One area teen is dedicated to making a difference for the Community Blood Bank and area residents in need.
Alyssa Crandall, daughter of Dean and Jerri Crandall of Ellington, was named the Western New York Region's chairperson of the year in 2013 by the Community Blood Bank. She is currently the youngest donor chairperson in the history of the blood bank.
Every year, the blood bank gives the award to a person from each region who has performed above and beyond what is necessary when holding blood drives.
From left, Steve Rexford, Ellington Volunteer Fire Department chief; Alyssa Crandall, Community Blood Bank’s chairperson of the year; and Jim Smith, Ellington Fire Department president and Jr. Firefighter adviser, pose after Crandall is awarded the Community Blood Bank’s chairperson of the year award.
Crandall, a Cassadaga Valley High School sophomore, has been involved with blood drives since she was 14 years old. It was during a blood drive held at her high school when she initially connected with Kathy Hastings, mobile drive coordinator for Community Blood Bank.
Roughly a month later, Crandall contacted Hastings and began coordinating the first blood drive held at the Ellington Fire Hall.
"I really enjoy doing it and am very happy to help people," Crandall said. She also mentioned that in the future she hopes to become a nurse.
Crandall coordinates blood drives hosted at the Ellington Fire Hall every two or three months, which includes contacting area residents about donating, alerting other fire departments of the drive, hanging up posters publicizing each event and working the registration table during the event.
Alongside her work with the blood drives, Crandall is also actively involved with the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department's Jr. Firefighters as president, the "Wild Oats" 4-H Club as president and the 4-H beef committee. She also enjoys showing steers at the fair.
According to Hastings, Crandall's efforts have helped save the lives of nearly 450 local patients.
Community Blood Bank supplies 100 percent of all blood used in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties in western New York. To learn more about Community Blood Bank, visit www.fourhearts.org.