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Briarcliff Students Take Charge at Blood Drive

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff High School student Arthur Kaufman had never donated blood before Friday but after finishing up, the 17-year-old senior said it’s something he’s going to do a lot more often.

“It’s a good idea to help people in need if you can,” Kaufman said during Briarcliff High School’s annual blood drive. “It hurts a little in the beginning but it’s not a big deal because you know you’re helping people.”

Briarcliff nurse Karen Gitelson said the students “did a magnificent job” Friday, helping the New York Blood Center collect 73 units during the drive. Briarcliff High School has sponsored an annual drive for more than 30 years. The drive also doubles as the Briarcliff National Honors Society’s service project. This year, the students set the bar high, Gitelson said.

“As much as I serve as the facilitator, they really do the work and they do an amazing job with it,” she said Friday. “The success of the blood drive isn’t really the units to me. It’s getting people to try it for the first time so that they’ll see the good they’re doing and want to do it again later in life.”

Yaron Rubin, 17, president of the National Honor Society, said he was happy to help with the drive.

“Our role is to provide comfort for all of the donors and make it easier on them,” Rubin said, adding that the drive helped spark his interest in medicine. “I’m going into classical studies in college but this really got me interested in being a doctor and I think it’s something I’m going to look into.”

Gitelson heaped praise on Rubin after the drive concluded.

“I cannot tell you how truly impressed I am with Yaron Rubin, whose tremendous organization and management made this day happen successfully,” Gitelson wrote in an e-mail, noting that the students were an inspiration to her. “(Yaron) also was present all day, even got to the gym before me this morning. He was pitching in wherever I needed help and instructing the others on how to help out.”

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