ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO FALLEN OFFICER ENDURES ANOTHER COVID SPRING
DAYTON, Ohio – The community can support the regional blood supply and salute the memory of a young police officer killed in the line of duty by donating at the 24th annual Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive Tuesday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Centerville Police Department, 155 West Spring Valley Pike.
Everyone who registers to donate will receive the “Stop Waiting, Start Giving” t-shirt. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
Officer Kalaman and Washington Township Firefighter Robert O’Toole were struck and killed by a motorist on Jan. 12, 1998 while responding to an accident. Kalaman’s parents John and Paula Kalaman sponsored the first memorial blood drive in 1998 on their son’s April 27 birthday.
Since 1998, more than 4,336 units of blood have been donated in his name.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions last year, the Kalamans were absent from the blood drive for the first in its history. They plan to return this year.
“Absolutely we will be there,” said John Kalaman. “It will be pre-packaged food and that’s OK. We’ll still be there and are just thankful for everyone who comes out and donates. That’s why we have it.”
John was a dedicated blood donor prior to his son’s death. He said it was Paula’s inspiration to sponsor a blood drive.
“The first couple of weeks after John was killed, it was just chaos, all the feelings,” John recalled. “One day I had the urge to donate blood. Paul didn’t want to be alone and came with me. We were sitting there at the blood center and Paula said, ‘I wonder what it takes to start a blood drive?’ I said, ‘You’re in the right place.’”
They asked to hold the blood drive on John’s birthday but there was a scheduling conflict. “They contacted that group, and they said, ‘We’ll just move ours to another day,’” said John.
It became a celebration of public safety officers that has endured even the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People are still able to go and donate and still do,” said John. “Thankfully there are people like that.”
Carroll rescued the 2020 Unity campaign by rescheduling a Unity blood drive at a dark time in the pandemic. Student volunteers completed the campaign by choosing the “With God’s Grace” Food Pantry as the 2020 recipient of the Unity Award and presented the $1,000 check on April 12.
“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Community Blood Center, Universal 1 Credit Union and a select group of rival high schools in the region. Carroll and CJ first joined the Unity Campaign in 2017. Rival schools host CBC blood drives then alternate choosing a charity to receive the annual $1,000 Unity Award sponsored by Universal 1.
“We do a lot of work with them,” said Carroll High senior Donna Lawhorn. “During the summer we have a Work Camp and one of the places we go one day of the week is ‘With God’s Grace.’ We stocked food in boxes for people coming to pick them up.”
“With God’s Grace” Executive Director Nicole Adkins said the pantry has expanded to five mobile food pick-up locations across the Miami Valley and opened the Northridge Free Store in December. The pantry will put the $1,000 Unity Award to immediate use.
“Actually, this is 4,000 meals,” she said. “We could distribute at different mobile locations and each family will get five days’ worth of meals.”
Carroll students also volunteer monthly at “With God’s Grace.” “Not many places would let us in because of COVID, said but she said, OK,” said Carroll Service Coordinator Melissa Fisher.
“I love them,” said Nicole. “They go to our Xenia location and our Free Store.”
CJ began the 2020 Unity campaign by hosting the “HEMA-Glowin’ Blood Drive” Feb. 21, 2020. It topped 104% of goal with 91 donors and 71 donations.
Carroll was scheduled to follow with a Unity blood drive on March 16, 2020 but it was cancelled as the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and forced society into lock-down.
Student blood drive volunteers asked to reschedule the blood drive on May 21 in the school gym on the last day of virtual classes. Students and parents filled all the appointments, totaling 56 donors and 47 donations.
“They really wanted to hold their blood drive,” said CBC account representative Donna Teuscher. “It was a scary time and they pulled it off and did great.”
“It brough us Unity,” said Carroll High blood drive coordinator Laura Wright. “We were together here at school, and the parents came here too with the students and that was nice.”
“Unity in Community” originated with Miamisburg and West Carrollton in 2014 and has grown to include eight rival schools. Each sponsor CBC blood drives and choose an annual recipient for the Universal 1 Unity Award.
DAYTON, Ohio – State Sen. Steve Huffman from Tipp City doubled down with his milestone 75th lifetime donation April 9 at the Dayton CBC. By making a double red blood cell donation, Dr. Huffman jumped from 74 to 76 lifetime donations in a single visit.
Sen. Huffman is an emergency room physician and a leading advocate for blood donations. He introduced the legislation for January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month while serving as state representative for the 80th district. He was chair of the House Health Committee and enlisted the support of CBC to give proponent testimony before the House and Senate committees.
Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month became law in 2018 and was first observed in January 2019. America’s Blood Centers honored Steve with the 2018 Larry Frederick Award for his leadership in raising statewide awareness about blood donations.
His advocacy for CBC included support for the “Make Mine a Double” campaign when CBC expanded automated double red blood cell donations at mobile blood drives and the Dayton CBC. Double red cell donations help avoid shortages by doubling the red cells available for surgeries and emergencies.
Double red cell donations use an automated system and the procedure takes slightly longer than a single whole blood donation. Sen. Huffman completed his donation in about 25 minutes.
Double red cell donations have been routine for Steve because he is an ideal donor. He is a universal donor because his type O negative blood can be transfused to any patient in need. He is also a “baby donor” because he is negative to the common Cytomegalovirus. Hospitals prefer CMV-negative blood to treat babies and children with vulnerable immune systems.
“It’s a time saver,” he said, because the double red cell deferment period before again being eligible to donate is doubled from 56 days to 112 days. “I can come in and expand it from eight weeks to 16 weeks, and I’m looking at a busy schedule over the summer.”
Summers are traditionally busy in emergency medicine. That changed during the pandemic when there was less summer travel, but he anticipates a return to a pre-pandemic pace. “Trauma season is coming,” he said. “A lot of thing will be getting back to normal.”
DAYTON, Ohio – Give the spring blood supply a needed boost by donating at the “Fast Food Friday” blood drive Friday, April 16 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dayton Community Blood Center, 349 South Main St.
Everyone who registers to donate will receive a McDonald’s $5 gift card, plus the spring “Stop Waiting, Start Giving” t-shirt. Appointments are required. Schedule online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
CBC has declared 2021 “Blood Donor Year” because the necessary COVID-19 restrictions that continue to impact the blood supply are now combined with the traditional challenges that come with the gradual return of pre-pandemic activities.
Donor registrations have fallen 46% at the Dayton CBC since Easter and whole blood donations dropped 53%. Area hospitals also reported high usage over the April 10-11 weekend.
Traditional seasonal challenges to donor recruitment include the disruptions of spring vacations, out-of-town travel, and increased outdoor activities. The goal for the “Fast Food Friday” blood drive is a minimum of 100 whole blood donors with an emphasis on type O donors.
CBC has ended collection of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma and is no longer testing all donors for COVID-19 antibodies. CBC is encouraging former CCP donors and others to consider donating whole blood, double red blood cells, or platelets. Call (937) 461-3220 for more information on what donation may be best for you.
BROOKVILLE, Ohio – The COVID-19 pandemic arrived like a storm a year ago. It rattled the calendar of Community Blood Center blood drives and shook many from their foundations. Brookville knows the damage a storm can do, and donors were determined to save their monthly community blood drive.
The April 2 Brookville community blood drive marked one year since moving to the Lieber Center at Golden Gate Park. On a warm spring day, 42 whole blood donors and four platelet donors helped the blood drive top 100% of collection goal.
Among the donors were Brookville Mayor Chuck Letner, who made his 175th lifetime donation, and his son Jordan Letner who made his eighth donation, the equivalent of one gallon.
“We know we don’t get the numbers we did before COVID, but it’s good to see people out,” said Mayor Letner. “That’s the community we are. Long before the tornado, we’ve always stepped up to the challenge. Everybody stepped up with lot of volunteers and lot of help and turned things around.”
The Memorial Day tornado outbreak of 2019 ravaged Brookville. COVID-19 threatened to halt the Brookville blood drive that began more than two decades ago in the basement of the Community United Methodist Church.
“It started out as an Eagle Scout project by the minister’s son,” said blood drive coordinator Wayne Wolfe, who was one of the first donors at the church blood drive in 1999. “Somehow, I ended up with it, I don’t know how. Getting all that equipment down to the basement, in the beginning they had to hand carry it down the steps. And no air conditioning.”
The promise of easier access and air conditioning encouraged a change of location to the Brookhaven Retirement Community in 2001 with the church continuing as the sponsor. Brookhaven went on to host six blood drives per year, averaging up to 600 donors per year, before becoming a monthly blood drive in 2019.
The cruel impact of COVID-19 on the elderly and deadly outbreaks at senior care facilities demanded strict limits on all retirement home visitation. Brookhaven hosted its final blood drive in March 2020 with a full schedule of 53 donors.
Community United Methodist responded in April 2020 by hosting a Bloodmobile blood drive. It nearly doubled the collection goal with 45 donors, and the search continued for a new indoor site.
“I thought I’d go by the Lieber Center,” said Wayne. “We used to have a Thanksgiving dinner there, and I thought that was an ideal place. I thought we’d go with the mayor. The reason I called him is he’s a blood donor.”
Mayor Letner was quick to agree and arranged to begin blood drives at the Lieber Center in May 2020 with no rental fee. “I think it’s an ideal spot and I think you’ve found a new home,” he said. “The atmosphere is beautiful out there. It’s part of package, give blood and enjoy the park while there.”
A year later, the 12 blood drives at the Lieber Center have totaled 550 whole blood donors and 55 platelet donations while averaging 107% of collection goal.
“Wayne was so helpful,” said CBC account representative Melinda Frech. “I really appreciate Mayor Letner and Angie Weiss the deputy clerk who has worked with me on the scheduling, and all the people at the park. They have been great too. Thanks to those people, we never missed a beat. They are just kind people.”
“This works with my schedule,” said Lewisburg donor Gayle Treadway who donated platelets at the Wednesday blood drive. “This is just as convenient for me.”
“I like to stay in Brookville, and don’t want to go anywhere else because I don’t want to go off my donation schedule,” said Brookville donor Wanda King.
“My children grew up here at this park,” said Ruth Kimmel. “So, it’s no problem. It’s like a second home for many years and very familiar to me.”
COVID-19 cautions still mean restrictions on social distance and open foods, a disappointment to Wayne and his army of church volunteers who baked cookies and served donors.
Wayne lost his wife Judith in 2018. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2015 but missed only one blood drive. “I used to go to chemo and come to the blood drive,” said Wayne. “I enjoyed it.”
“I miss the days when the ladies made the homemade snacks,” said Mayor Letner. “They took pride in being part of it. Wayne spearheaded all this and thanks to him we have a good blood drive here in Brookville.”
DAYTON, Ohio – The family of Floyd Harris, Jr. honored his memory and thanked donors for “Floyd’s Gift” of the blood transfusions he received with a memorial blood drive in his name April 1-3 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
More than 22 people signed-in to donate at the Floyd Harris, Jr. Memorial Blood Drive and family and friends donated $700 to CBC. Floyd’s daughter Felicia Foreman served as the coordinator with the help of siblings Jacqueline Thomas, Kenyetta Hill, John Harris and Reginal Harris.
Family and friends wore purple t-shirts with Floyd’s initials on the front and “Floyd’s Gift” on the back. They encouraged donors with flyers and social media posts that said, “A blood donation drive has been organized in his memory, to give back to the very cause that sustained his life for many years. Please join us in offering the Gift from Floyd.”
They concluded the blood drive Saturday with the check presentation and a balloon launch.
Floyd Harris, Jr. retired after 30 years with General Motors. He passed away in September after struggling against multiple health issues, including a bleeding disorder. He received multiple blood transfusions and that inspired the family to host the blood drive and raise money for CBC.
“He had bleeding and could never figure out what the problem was,” said Felicia. “He had bad nose bleeds and always had to go to the hospital to get blood. So that’s what motivated me to start the blood drive.”
The family chose April 1 to begin the blood drive in celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday. Their mother passed away five years earlier.
“He had several health issues,” said Felicia. “But mostly it was the blood, that’s how we kept him alive for five years. If he didn’t have the blood, we couldn’t have kept him alive that long. He might last a couple weeks without needing blood.”
The family is dedicated to making the blood drive and fundraiser an annual event.
“We most definitely are going to be doing one every year,” said Felicia. “We may rent a place to make it bigger.
“We knew that some people did not like giving, but for the cause they wanted to give a monetary donation,” said Felicia. “Whatever helps you guys, because you helped us out for so many years.”
DAYTON, Ohio – Good Friday began with frost and temperatures still below freezing when the first donors arrived for the “Be The Good” blood drive at the Dayton CBC. They came to celebrate the Easter season, the promise of a much better outlook in the COVID-19 pandemic than a year ago, and to help keep the blood supply strong through the holiday weekend.
One year ago, COVID-19 was surging, the economy was in lock-down, and most blood drives were cancelled. This spring, many necessary pandemic precautions remain in place just as traditional blood supply challenges are returning, including holiday travel, spring breaks, and other seasonal activities.
With no high school blood drives on Good Friday and only two mobile blood drives on the scheduled, CBC set a goal of at least 200 donor registrations for the Dayton CBC.
Friday mornings are usually bustling at the Dayton CBC with regular platelet and plasma donors like Judy LaMusga (513 LTD), Bert Jones (676 LTD) and Teri Hunley (211 LTD). Appointments and bed were also filled with whole blood donors who made a special effort to donate on Good Friday.
“Today is my birthday,” said Beavercreek donor Emily Mays as she made her 20th lifetime donation. “I’m donating for my buddy’s husband who passed away in January and needed a lot of blood. My dad donated a lot of blood – gallons – and we would donate together.”
The temperature may have been more winter than spring, but Good Friday sunshine poured through the windows of the third floor donor room at the Dayton CBC, opened to accommodate more donors.
“This is my first time up here,” said Bellbrook donor Bill Stephen. “It’s always a great thing to do any time.”
Rick Searcy smiled brightly under his face mask as he settled into a bed in the third floor donor room to make his 48th lifetime donation. “I work at Fuyao and this is my day off!” said Rick. He couldn’t think of a better way to begin the holiday weekend than by donating.
“I work 12 hour shifts and would normally be working Saturday and Sunday, but because of Easter they gave us the weekend off and I don’t work again until Wednesday, so I’m enjoying it.”
“I try to donate every eight weeks as soon as I’m eligible,” said Vandalia donor Scott Burns. “This is number 60 for me. I’m shooting for 100. I started about 10 years ago. I was going to the post office and there was a blood drive at the police station right next door.”
Scott plans to celebrate Easter this year with church and dinner, gatherings that were cancelled or more limited a year ago.
“I might go to the Easter sunrise service at Carillon Park,” said Scott. “It was cancelled last year for the first time since 1942.”
DAYTON, Ohio – The Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive is an enduring tribute to the former Moraine Mayor. In the time of COVID-19 it has also been a tribute to the tenacious spirit of the Rosencrans family and the broad family of blood donors.
The tradition of holding the blood drive on or near Bob’s March 28 birthday meant observing it twice during COVID-19. The milestone 10th annual blood drive took place March 28, 2020 under strict cautions during the bleak early days of the pandemic.
The 11th annual Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive continued Saturday, March 27 at the Dayton Community Blood Center. It wasn’t the full return to normalcy hoped for a year ago, but it marked a beginning.
“I had people text me photos as they donated throughout the day,” said Bob’s daughter Megan Rosencrans who coordinates the blood drive with her brother Wes Rosencrans. “It wasn’t the same as seeing everyone, but it still felt like one connected event.”
Both the 2020 and 2021 blood drives carried on without the traditional gathering of family and friends. Megan donated alone when she received the CBC Blood Drop Award commemorating the 10th anniversary in 2020. There was a flicker of hope amid the mounting pandemic concerns a year ago, and that confidence is far stronger this year.
Support for the Saturday morning blood drive contributed to 74 whole blood donors and 20 platelet and plasma donors at the Dayton CBC.
“The blood drive definitely felt different, but we were still able to make a difference,” said Megan. “The blood drive coinciding with the vaccine distribution opening up makes me hopeful that we’ll all be able to gather together next year.”
Bob Rosencrans was age 61 and serving his second term as Moraine mayor in 2010 when he was killed in a car accident. The family began the blood drive in 2011 because of his dedication as a blood donor with more than 70 lifetime donations.
Megan made her 57th lifetime donation Saturday and Wes donate platelets and plasma for his 54th lifetime donation. They were joined by what Megan called “some of the usual suspects” supporters.
Donors and visitors included their mother Lyn Cooper, Megan’s boyfriend Chris Sivits, friends and co-workers including Erin Sanchez, Jennifer White, Kelly and Jon Keim, family friend WDTN-TV Chief Meteorologist Brian Davis, and Teri Murphy, Bob’s long-time friend and campaign manager.
The world seemed to be in lock-down when the 2020 Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive took place. Schools were closed, only “essential” businesses were open, offices vacant, highways half empty, and blood drives everywhere were cancelling.
Donors filled beds for weeks of “Donor Strong” blood drives at the Dayton CBC Donation Center, where Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman came to donate. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Surgeon General asked everyone to give blood.
Bob Rosencrans supporters are UD basketball fans and conversations at the blood drive are always about March Madness. A year ago, the donor who won tickets to the “First Four” at Dayton’s UD Arena learned the NCAA Tournament was cancelled. So were proms, weddings, concerts, travel, vacations, and graduations.
Last April, CBC became the first blood center in Ohio to launch an emergency program for collecting COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma to treat coronavirus patients. A year later the CCP program has ended. COVID cautions continue, but vaccinations are increasing.
CBC is calling 2021 “Blood Donor Year” because of the continuing impact of COVID-19 restrictions on blood collection. Over the 11 years of the Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive, every year has been blood donor year.
CBC HONORS ZION LUTHERAN FOR 17 YEARS OF SERVICE, PARTNERSHIP
DAYTON, Ohio – After 17 years of partnership with Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Community Blood Center is moving the monthly Hamilton community blood drive to the new location of the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton at nearby 1 Riverfront Plaza.
CBC honored and thanked Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pastor Joseph Schrock, and blood drive coordinator Julia Hilbert with the presentation of CBC’s “Blood Drop” award at Zion’s Feb. 18 blood drive. After totaling more than 700 blood drives in 17 years as a home base for CBC in Hamilton, Zion hosted its final blood on March 18.
The monthly schedule will continue uninterrupted with Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton hosting its first blood drive Thursday, April 15 from 12 noon to 6:30 p.m. in the Riverview Ballroom. All previous Zion appointments are converted to the new location and donors can make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com and use sponsor code 171 or call (937) 461-3220 for assistance.
The final Zion blood drive totaled 65 whole blood donors and 9 platelet and plasma donors for 120% of collection goal.
The original CBC Hamilton Donor Center closed in December 2005 and immediately moved to Zion Lutheran. In the early years, Zion averaged nearly 100 blood drives per year. From 2005 to March 2021 the Hamilton blood drives totaled more than 18,000 whole blood donors and 16,000 whole blood donations.
Since 2016 Zion hosted six blood drives per year and moved to monthly blood drives in 2021. In recent years Zion blood drives expanded to include platelet and plasma collections and added COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma collection from coronavirus survivors during the pandemic.
CBC account representative Sandy Baur said with increased collections, equipment, and donor registrations, the blood drive simply outgrew the space. “You’ve done everything you could for us,” said Sandy. “We can’t thank you enough for your 17 years of service, dedication and partnership.”
“We’re thankful to have had you here,” said Julia Hilbert, office administrator at Zion who has served as blood drive coordinator for all 17 years.
“We enjoyed meeting all the people. A lot of people I knew but hadn’t seen for years. They were all interested in giving blood. It was fun to see everybody. It’s definitely been a positive experience for a good cause.”
Julia credited the late Paul Waechter, a former Zion trustee, for helping bring the blood drive to Zion. “He worked with Community Blood Center to find the space and did a lot of work to prepare,” she said.
Pastor Schrock is a native of Marysville, Ohio and was a U.S. Army Chaplain for 10 years before coming to Zion in 2014.
“I was glad to see it at the church,” said Pastor Schrock. “We should be involved in the community and have our facilities for community service. It’s a commitment. We were glad to have you, and if you ever need to come back, feel free.”
Ross Township donor Mike Tuccini made his 81st lifetime donation at Zion and planned to schedule his next donation at the Marriott. “The Courtyard is right across the street,” said Mike. “It’s no big deal.”
DAYTON, Ohio – “Be The Good” by donating Good Friday, April 2 at the Dayton Community Blood Center to help keep the region’s blood supply strong through the Easter holiday weekend.
The “Be The Good” Blood Drive is April 2 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Dayton CBC, 349 South Main St. Everyone who registers to donate will receive a Kroger $10 gift card, plus the spring “Stop Waiting, Start Giving” t-shirt. Appointments are required. Schedule your donation online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
One year ago, COVID-19 was surging, the economy was in lock-down, and most blood drives were cancelled. This spring, many necessary pandemic precautions remain in place and continue to depress blood collection.
At the same time, more participation in holiday travel, spring breaks, and other seasonal activities are resulting in the more traditional challenges to maintaining the holiday blood supply.
CBC has declared 2021 “Blood Donor Year” to challenge eligible donors in the community to give blood at least three times this year. CBC’s goal is to register 200 donors Friday, April 2 at the Dayton CBC for the “Be The Good” Blood Drive.
CBC ended collection of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma on March 20 due to a decline of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region, and a sufficient emergency supply of CCP nationwide.
CBC is encouraging former CCP donors and others to consider donating whole blood, double red blood cells, or platelets. Call (937) 461-3220 for more information on what donation may be best for you.