Temperatures climbed into the 90’s again Tuesday, July 3 as the Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC) hosted an Independence Day cookout for donors. Arvin Nanda of Beavercreek relaxed in the shade of the outdoor Donor Café after making his 10th lifetime donation and said, “It doesn’t get any more American than this: donating blood and hotdogs!”
The hotdogs were sizzling on the grill and the sun was sizzling overhead. But the donors were protected by the shade of the big Donor Café tent and they enjoyed lunch knowing they would soon top it off with a cool ice cream treat from the Ritter’s Frozen Custard Sundae Bar.
“Ritter’s!” said Arvin as he held up his root beer sundae like a small, frozen trophy. “Delicious. On a day like this you couldn’t ask for anything more!”
That’s a feeling CBC shared with Arvin and all the donors that took time out from the busy – and hot – Fourth of July holiday week to donate at the center. It gave the blood supply a big boost during a time of very few mobile drives, many donors away on vacation, and hospitals very concerned about having ample blood supplies on hand to be ready for emergencies.
“Unfortunately, I know there will be a need for blood in the next four or five days,” said Tom Catlett, a retired educator from Dayton. Tom felt compelled to answer the call when he got a postcard announcing the cookout. He made his donation, and then settled into a seat in the Café with a hotdog.
Nearby Brittany Estep shared a hotdog with her 18-month old daughter Tara. They were waiting for Doris Crist – Brittany’s mom and Tara’s grandmother – to finish donating. “My mom heard about the cookout and came and got us!” said Brittany.
Dayton Fire Fighter Paul Raisch made his 10th lifetime donation under the watchful eye of a television camera that came to do a report about the cookout. He had responded to a phone message reminding him he was eligible to donate again. “I called and they said come on down, we have a special day today,” said Paul.
The Fourth of July is always the high point of summer. It is indeed a special day to be an American. All who supported the CBC cookout today can celebrate tomorrow knowing it’s also a special day to be a blood donor