When London, OH blood donor Kevin O’Connor learned he was a finalist in the Community Blood Center (CBC) “King of the Road Summer 2013 Blood Drive” to win the grand prize Harley-Davidson Road King Classic motorcycle, he made a promise. “If I win I’ll throw a fit, get all excited and jump up and down for ya!” he said. Kevin was true to his word and did not disappoint.
Kevin was one of the 10 computer-selected finalists from more than 25,000 people who entered the “King of the Road” drawing by registering to donate blood with CBC between May, 28 and Aug. 31. The 10 finalists gathered at the downtown Dayton CBC Donor Center Thursday, Sept. 19 for the final drawing. Each selected an unmarked envelope, and after a countdown, ripped it open. Only Kevin’s contained a Golden Ticket, making him the new owner of the Harley.
He seemed stunned for a moment, then began waving the Golden Ticket and jumping up and down. He was soon getting a long hug from his wife Lori and a series of handshakes from his fellow finalists and blood donors.
“This is the biggest thing that I’ve ever won in my life,” he said. “I think in junior high I won a drawing for a bible – it was a really nice one – but that’s all I can remember.” Kevin was soon discussing the transfer of ownership with Jim Gover and Operations Manager Greg Foughty from Gover Harley-Davidson in Piqua, a partial sponsor in the King of the Road campaign, along with REACH Magazine and W Productions in Urbana.
“I definitely will keep the bike,” said Kevin, who had lamented selling his 1976 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide years ago to pay off bills. “I didn’t think I’d be able to get another one.” Kevin entered the King of the Road drawing June 19 when he made his 18th lifetime blood donation at a CBC mobile blood drive at his work, the Yamada of North America plant in South Charleston.
When the finalists arrived at CBC they received a welcome and thanks from Dr. David Smith, CEO of Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services (CBC/CTS). “Summer is a special time for us,” he said. “It can be a challenge because it’s a difficult time for people to come in and donate. But we had more than 25,000 people register to give blood. I applaud everyone.”
Before the final drawing Kevin had said, “I can imagine this shining new hog purring under us, letting the sun and wind soak us in freedom and adventures.” His wife Lori wasn’t so optimistic. “I didn’t think he would win,” she laughed. “I thought we’re here, we’ll eat a couple of cookies and congratulate the winner.”
Kevin plans to remain an optimist, brush up on his motorcycle skills, and continue to donate. “This doesn’t change anything,” he said. “I give because I want to and I’ve seen the people that it’s helped. Someday I may need blood. If I do, I can feel like I deserve it.”