Annual blood drive in memory of Kate Hayden to take place Friday

September 1, 2022 | 12:10 am

Updated August 31, 2022 | 10:58 pm

Each September, a blood drive is held at the Owensboro Catholic Schools K-3 campus in memory of Kate Hayden, who died in 2006 as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident. This year’s drive is being hosted Friday by the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center.

Hayden was 7 years old at the time of the accident and would have been in 2nd grade at the OCS campus that year. The event is hosted annually the first weekend of September, which also usually coincides with Hayden’s birthday. 

“Unfortunately, there are often more car accidents over holiday weekends, so we feel it fitting to do a blood drive to help those that need blood,” said Hayden’s mother Sheila Calhoun. “Kate was a very special little girl. She always looked for the positive in others.”

And while the time is sad for the family and friends of Kate — who would have turned 24 this year— the blood drive allows a true birthday celebration for her, Calhoun said.

“She left us so young and it is a stark reminder that we have missed lots of milestones that we did not get to celebrate with her,” Calhoun said. “We usually have cupcakes or muffins, a ‘Happy Birthday’ sign and share memories with loved ones who come. We even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kate each year.”

Vicki Ellis, Director of Donor Resources at WKRBC, said the event is very moving as many local businesses, churches, and schools have promoted it annually, and many donors return for the event in memory of Hayden.

“This is one way we can help with healing and grieving, and I am going to help as much as I can,” Ellis said.

To date, 165 units or 495 components were delivered to our local hospitals to save local lives, Ellis said.

“If our tragedy can become a blessing by helping others, then Kate’s life was well lived. It should be celebrated,” Calhoun said.

The Kate Hayden blood drive is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday in the back of  OCS’ K-3 campus located at 4017 Frederica St.

September 1, 2022 | 12:10 am

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