DAYTON, Ohio – Families gathered over the weekend to be together for Easter. It was a special time too for the Rosencrans family, which has built a six-year tradition of remembering former Moraine Mayor Bob Rosencrans with the annual blood drive in his honor.
Saturday, March 26 marked the sixth annual Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive at the downtown Dayton Community Blood Center. Family, friends, and community donors began arriving at 7 a.m. Bob’s daughter Megan was one of the first whole blood donors, and made her 37th lifetime donation. Bob’s son Wes made an apheresis donation for his milestone 25th lifetime donation.
The memorial blood drive contributed to a busy Saturday at the Dayton Donor Center with 50 donors and 35 donations.
Rosencrans was 61 and serving his second term as mayor in 2010 when he was killed in a crash caused by a speeding driver. He was an active member of the Moraine community for more than 30 years, volunteering with the Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch program and serving on City Council. He was also a dedicated blood donor with more than 70 lifetime donations.
“Megan used to donate with my dad,” Wes said, talking about the example Bob set for the family and others as a dedicated blood donor. “They would come down here (Dayton Community Blood Center) to donate, and they would see who could finish first! We donated together once or twice, but because of schedules, the kids and work, not as much as I would have liked.”
Kids are always part of the annual Rosencrans blood drive. Teri Murphy, Bob’s good friend and former campaign manager, arrived early with Megan to set up a table with cake, cupcakes and Bob’s photo. Teri’s daughter Danielle is visiting for the weekend from Charlottesville, Virginia and made her first lifetime donation in Bob’s honor while her four small children (ages one through 10) played in the waiting area and enjoyed the cupcakes.
The family is pleased to see their blood drive reach the milestone of a sixth year. They have grown comfortable with making it a Saturday morning blood drive at the Dayton CBC, scheduled close to Bob’s birthday. Every year the children have grown a bit, there are more memories, and Bob’s legacy grows in a new way.
“My boss came this morning and it was his first time donating,” said Megan. “We’ve got a couple of other first-time donors coming today.”
One of those first-time donors was Allison Baker, who works with Megan at Reynolds & Reynolds. She in turn recruited her boyfriend James Hardwick to donate Saturday. They moved to the area last summer when James was assigned to duty at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
“I wanted to do it,” said Allison. “Megan and I work in the same department and we’re on a bowling team together. She asked me, and I was like, ‘I’ll do it!’”
“So every year, we’re getting new people to donate,” said Megan. “Even if they can’t come today, they come at another time.”
Megan looked at her phone and showed a photo texted to her from a blood donation center in New York. “I have a friend I invited on Facebook, and she donated in New York. She sent this picture and texted me, ‘As promised. Love you.’”
That’s the tradition of the Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive: sharing memories and keeping a promise to help save lives.