Manatee High takes action to honor Orlando shooting victims

President Barack Obama and national organizations responded to the June 12 shooting tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando with words and deeds, but activism on the part of individual citizens and small groups was also needed.

That’s the conclusion the Manatee High School Student Council reached when it decided to organize a blood drive in honor of the shooting victims, said Abigayle Fritz, a Manatee High student and student council spokeswoman.

“The Orlando shooting was such a recent tragic event and Manatee High just wants to show its support and awareness for the lives lost,” Fritz said Thursday.

Manatee High’s blood drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Manatee High School, 902 33rd St. Court W., Bradenton, Fritz said.

Manatee High teacher Michael Perez, student council club sponsor, helped organize the drive with local blood bank OneBlood, Fritz added.

“A blood drive is such an easy way for the community to come together to help a cause such as the Orlando shooting,” Fritz said. “High school students also love helping in easy ways such as donating blood, especially for a cause like the Orlando shooting that happened in our home state of Florida. We just really wanted to dedicate this blood drive to the Orlando lives lost and want to keep them and their families in our prayers.”

Said Katie Leavy, a Manatee High junior class senator: “I’m so happy to see our school and a club I’m involved in working together to honor these victims and their families.”

All donors will receive a free OneBlood cooler and a wellness checkup, including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening, Fritz said.

All donors will also receive a special offer from Crayola Experience in Orlando, Fritz said.

“If they purchase one admission ticket they receive a second admission free,” Fritz added.

Richard Dymond: 941-745-7072, @RichardDymond