Capt. Bobby Lips Richmond PD

RICHMOND, Indiana – Richmond Police Capt. Bobby Lips had plenty of motivation for coming down to the City Council Chambers during his free time Friday, July 28 and voting with his donation in the annual Richmond ‘Cuffs & Ladders’ Blood Drive.  “Anything to beat those hosetoters!” he said.

The cops got the best of the firefighters hands down with a winning margin of 29-7.  It means the Richmond Police Department will hold the “Cuffs and Ladders” trophy for the third year in a row in the blood drive battle for bragging rights.

In the process the cops and firefighters helped support Community Blood Center by totaling 36 donors, including eight first-time donors and 33 donations for 118 percent of the collection goal.

“I tried to be neutral,” said blood drive coordinator Diane Whitehead. “I decorated with red and blue!”  As a civilian employee of the police department, Diane’s allegiance is hard to hide.  It also helped that this year’s blood drive was being held on the cops’ home turf at the city building.

“We have a lot of city employees here.  It’s an unknown element!” said Diane. “Several voted for police, but you just don’t know!”  She helped the RPD cause by recruiting her mother and three sisters to donate and vote.

It was a mix of veteran and new donors that helped carry the day for the RPD. Bob Thomas, a former reserve officer, cast his vote for the cops.  New “Cuffs and Ladders” donors included rookie cops Zach Huskisson and Julia Shank.

Zach Huskisson and Julia Shank



Ashlyn England with mom Angela

ENGLEWOOD, Ohio – The Davenport family has new reasons to affirm “Bill would be so proud” of the blood drive honoring the former Englewood cop.  With the June 27 Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive in the Englewood Government Center they celebrated 351 donors over its six-year history, and a new generation taking up the torch with Bill’s first grandchild old enough to donate in his memory.

“I wanted to do it in honor of my grandfather,” said Ashlyn England, a sophomore at Northmont High School.  She became eligible to donate with parental permission when she turned 16 on June 8.  Ashlyn made her first donation at Thursday’s blood drive with her mom Angela Davenport holding her hand.  They switched roles later when Angela donated.

“Grandpa must be proud,” said Angela.  Ashlyn was just 10 when the family hosted the first Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive with Community Blood Center in 2012.  She grew up learning her grandfather was in a battle with blood cancer. “He was diagnosed two weeks after I had her,” said Angela.

Sgt. Bill Davenport dedicated nearly 38 years to Englewood law enforcement.  He died in 2011 after a 10-year struggle with multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

Thursday’s blood drive totaled 57 donors and 48 donations for 100 percent of the collection goal.  In six years the blood drive has totaled 351 donors and 290 donations.

“Time flies.  I’m glad it’s still going on,” said Bill’s son Brett Davenport, a Kettering firefighter who serves as the blood drive coordinator.

The blood drive is a family effort.  Brett recruits colleagues in the public safety community.  Brett, brother Cory, and sister Angela are all donors.  They ask businesses to contribute raffle prizes to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Their mom Joann is the first to greet donors and encourage them to buy raffle tickets and this year’s bright green “Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive” t-shirt.

Ashlyn was one of six first-time donors at the sixth annual Bill Davenport Blood Drive, and for Brett she represents the future. “In 100 years it could be still going strong!” he said. “I think about who will take it on.”  That would guarantee more generations of Davenports sharing the pride.

Bill Davenport Family


Larry Smith 331 LTD.JPG

We never cease to be amazed and inspired by the resilient, good-natured and giving spirit of blind donor Larry Smith.  He visited the Dayton CBC Tuesday, July 25 to give platelets for his 331st lifetime donation.

Many know Larry’s story. He was blind at birth and left abandoned as an infant on the steps of a state orphanage.  He was in poor health as a child and his suffering was made worse by the brutality of the workers.  Larry was rescued and nurtured by the kindness of a new house mother and a reform movement at the home.  His health improved and he made his way in the world as a Dayton hospital darkroom worker, marathon runner, choir singer, and blood donor.

At Tuesday’s appointment he proudly wore the pin given to him when he was inducted into the 2015 Fresenius Kabi National Donation Hall of Fame.  But the darkness of the orphanage is still with Larry.  As he has grown older he is noticing more balance issues related to an injury at the orphanage.

“I wasn’t very strong and I had to hang on to the bannister on the stairs,” he said. “This woman didn’t like that and told me not to do it. She hit me with her hand on my left ear and damaged the membrane in my ear drum.”  Because of the old injury his doctor advises him not to walk distances without assistance.

As always in his life, he finds ways to make do.  RTA Project Mobility is one way he gets around.  That means scheduling visits to the Dayton CBC twice a month to give platelets and plasma, and to continue his journey as a Donor for Life.


Randy Henninger family

Laura donor Randy Henninger was all smiles during his July 24 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center.  He had two of his daughters at his side in the donor room as he made his milestone 100th blood donation and a couple of granddaughters in the Donor Café waiting to help him celebrate with his favorite German chocolate cake.

“I try to donate six times a year, and I’ve accomplished that several times,” Randy said about his journey to the milestone.  He grew closer to his goal with six donations in 2016 and reached 100 with his fourth donation of this year.

Randy had to pause to remember his very first donation.  “Gee whiz,” he said. “It was back in the 80’s. We had a donation at work. It was in Dayton and I was working as a millwright.” At age 65 Randy keeps an active lifestyle. He’s a truck driver for a plastic recycling business in Piqua and plans to work at least another three years before retiring.

Randy’s family made special plans to celebrate his milestone together. His daughter Michele came from Jonesborough, Tennessee to make her “one gallon” (eighth lifetime donation) with her dad.  “He was eligible to donate July 3 and he waited until today so we could donate,” said Michele.

His daughter Amy from Vandalia attempted her first donation.  Randy has another daughter serving in the U.S. Air Force in Germany.  Two of his six grandchildren were on hand to help celebrate with their granddad’s favorite cake.

He can’t imagine slowing down his donation routine because he feels compelled to keep giving.

Randy is both an O negative donor, the universal donor for all patients in need, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  CMC negative means he has not been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there, especially babies born and need to be operated on.  I think it’s a good thing to do.”


Tommy Rogers 100 LTD

West Carrollton donor Thomas “Tommy” Rogers talked about special dinner plans for the weekend with his fiance Zara as he made his regular platelet donation Friday, July 14 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.  They would be celebrating her new job and his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation.

“She’s a donor too, I guess thanks to me,” he said.  Tommy and Zara are engaged to be married in December.  “She just got a new job. Between this and her job, it’s a good weekend! We’ll go out to dinner Saturday night.”

Just to add icing to the cake, Tommy made a double platelet donation. “I told everyone, on my day of 100 I will do a double!” he said.

Tommy started donating in 2009 at West Carrollton High School.  He learned he was both an O positive donor, the universal donor for all patients with Rh positive blood, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

He immediately began going to the Dayton CBC to make automated donations. “My second donation was double reds (double red blood cells).  He continued to make double reds donations and in 2010 he began donating platelets and plasma.

“I donate as much as I can,” said Tommy.  He said he could “only” donate about once a month while he was a student at Miami University. He graduated with an education degree in 2015. “I can donate more now,” he said. “I had 22 last year.”

He started out as an English tutor, but wanted to find other ways to help people. He now works for RMS of Ohio in Kettering, helping people with developmental disabilities by providing home medical and residential care.

He’s a busy young man with a wedding to plan by Christmas time, but he stays dedicated to his “Donor for Life” journey.

“It’s an addiction!” he said with a smile. “I think of it as an easy way to help people.”



Vicki Rish 100 LTD jacket

Her rose garden has been a challenge this summer for Dayton-Riverside donor Victoria “Vicki” Rish, but everything else is coming up roses along her Donor for Life journey. Vicki reached the milestone of 100 lifetime donations with her July 14 visit to the Dayton Community Blood Center.

“I knew it was getting close,” said Vicki, who started donating in her hometown of Marion, Ohio. She’s been a CBC donor since July of 1999.  “I usually come on my lunch hour – like today!” she said.

Vicki is dedicated to giving blood and to her career in social services. She has worked as a housing counselor for the Community Action Partnership for more than 10 years.

“The way I see it, I can donate when a lot of people can’t,” she said. “I’m an O positive donor and I know a lot of people can use O positive blood.”

Vicki is both an O positive donor, the universal donor for all patients with Rh positive blood, and a CMV-negative “baby donor.”  CMC negative means he has not been exposed to the common cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

“I’m a reader and I do a bit of gardening,” she said of her favorite pastimes. “I’m growing some roses but they could use more attention this season!”

Roses have their thorns, but the reward is in the blooming.  Congratulations to Vicki Rish for her well-tended garden of Donor for Life giving.


Anaya Hudnall 1 LTD

KETTERING, Ohio – July is American Spirit Month at Community Blood Center and there is no better mid-summer celebration of community spirit, high school teen spirt, and the high-spirited thrills of Kings Island than with the July 14 “Kettering Unity in the Community Blood Drive” at Trent Arena.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Alter and Fairmont High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union, with the Kettering Unity Blood Drive serving as the summer kick-off to the campaign.

In the fall Universal 1 will award $500 to each high school for holding blood drive and the schools will combine the awards and present $1,000 to a charity at an Alter-Fairmont basketball game.

As an extra thanks to the community for support of the summer blood drive, everyone who registered to donate received a free ticket to Kings Island good for any day of the current season.

The result was a spirited boost to the mid-summer blood supply.  The Unity blood drive totaled 157 donors, including 48 first-time donors, and 120 donations.

“My mom told me about it,” said Fairmont senior Guillermo Rached, who made his first lifetime donation Friday. “She’s a donor and she got the email.”

Anne Rose is a 2016 Alter graduate now studying early childhood education at Wright State University. Anne’s blood type is type O positive, which has been in high demand this summer. She made her seventh donation Friday. “I try to go as often as I can, even though I still have classes over the summer,” she said.

Fairmont senior Emily Ray brought along her mom and dad Carrie and Tom Ray, both first-time donors. They plan on putting their Kings Island tickets to good use. “I’m going to ride the rides, and I got him to agree to go with me,” she said, pointing to her dad Tom. “I just watch!” said her mom Carrie.

Fairmont junior Kelso Kuhnel is still just 16 years old, but made his third lifetime donation Friday. “I donated at both my school blood drives and my mom told me about this one. She’s a volunteer at the hospital.”

Rachel Holtgreive is another Alter alumnus who came out to support the blood drive. She made her sixth lifetime donation Friday. “I’m a junior at St. Louis University,” she said. “I’m studying medicine. I’m not sure yet if it will be med school, nursing or P.A.”

Lynn Jordan waited to donate with her four children, ages one through six, playing on the floor.  A trip to Kings Island is in their summer plans.  “We’ve had swim meets every weekend, so we wouldn’t have been able to go until now anyway!” she said.

Appointments were required for Unity blood drive.  But City of Kettering staff member Jennifer Smith came to Trent Arena on her lunch hour to work out and was able to fill a spot that came open.

“I came to lift and decided to see if I could donate. I came with a friend and talked him into donating,” she said.  “It’s been several years,” said her co-worker Scott Bates, “but I thought I might as well give it a try.”

Oakwood High students Mackenzie Skidmore and Mason White came to support the Kettering Unity blood drive and we’re impressed by the Fairmont-Alter campaign. “We should do this with Oakwood and Bellbrook because they’re our rivals,” said Mackenzie.

Carrie, Tom and Emily Ray