DAYTON — The NFL’s Wildcard Weekend was especially wild for West Alexandria blood donor Mindy Sue Jones Vannatter.
It began with donating Saturday morning at the blood drive she coordinates at Eaton First Church of God and winning the Community Blood Center drawing for a pair of Bengals playoff tickets. It ended Sunday night at Paycor Stadium with Vannatter and her husband Matthew watching fireworks explode after a dramatic Bengals win.
Everyone who registered to donate with CBC Jan. 7-14 was entered in the ticket drawing. It totaled 2,296 whole blood, platelet and plasma donors, including 158 first time donors. The Eaton blood drive came on the final day, and Mindy entered the drawing when she made a double red donation that morning.
Vannatter coordinates two CBC blood drives per year at Eaton First Church of God. She held the first Vincent Jones Memorial Blood Drive in August 2016 after losing her first husband to leukemia. It was to thank blood donors for helping Vincent Jones live long enough to see the birth of their second son Jeremiah. She has coordinated the January blood drive at the church since 2018.
“Thank you, Community Blood Center, for the tickets to see the Cincinnati Bengals win the playoff game!” Vannatter wrote on her Facebook page. “It was such an amazing once in a lifetime experience for us!
“Winning the giveaway for donating blood was an awesome surprise! Vincent was a Bengals fan, so it only seemed fitting I won the tickets from donating blood and honoring his memory while helping save lives like others gave to him.”