Bob Rosencrans family, friends

On a Saturday morning beaming with spring sunshine the annual birthday blood drive in memory of former Moraine Mayor Bob Rosencrans was again a spring renewal, and chance to celebrate a life well lived.

The March 25 gathering at Community Blood Center marked the seventh annual blood drive since Bob’s 2010 death in a car crash.  His daughter Megan and son Wes continue to serve as the coordinators who gather family members and recruit old and new friends.

Saturday morning 26 donors signed-in to show their support for the blood drive.  It contributed to  busy day the Dayton CBC with 43 whole blood donors, 37 whole blood donations and 12 apheresis donations.

Each spring blood drives brings changes and growth, as the Rosencrans grandkids grow older, the circle of friends widens, and new families form.  James Hardwick and Allison Baker donated at last year’s memorial blood drive.  This year they donated as man and wife, just a few weeks after their wedding.

Saturday was a special celebration for Wes’ wife Brandy.  “I was able to donate for the first time in a long time!” she said. “It was the first time I was able to donate in his name.”

Brandy had just given birth to daughter Reese days before the second annual Bob Rosencrans blood drive.  Health issues have also prevented her from donating.  But she was determined to donate Saturday. “I had trouble at first and they asked if I wanted to keep going and I said yes!” said Brandy. “I was very happy.”

The Donor Café was filled with family and friends sharing stories, enjoying homemade cupcakes and looking at family photos. “I brought some new people and new friends from my work,” said Megan Rosencrans. “Some are donating for the first time.”

James and Allison Hardwick were not first-time donors, but it was their first donation as a married couple.  They were part of a group that started Saturday morning by running the “No Butts About It” 5K Run for Colon Cancer Awareness in Beavercreek.

“We made sure we scheduled our appointments later in the morning so we would have time to eat something in between,” said James Hardwick.  Co-worker Sarah Furrer took part in the morning run and decided she felt strong enough to donate.   Megan’s friend Caitrin Kilbane also did both the race and the blood drive.

“I was here last year but wasn’t able to donate,” said Caitrin. “So this is officially my first time donating for the blood drive.”

Megan also gets traditional support for the blood drive from her friend Kristen Davis, who donates with her dad, WDTN-TV Chief Meteorologist Brian Davis.  This year they brought along brother Brett Davis, who first donated at Alter High School and made his third lifetime donation in Bob Rosencrans’ memory.

“Krissy and Megan are good friends and now we’ve made it something we do every year,” said Brian.

Brian predicted sunshine for Saturday with rain perhaps holding off until Sunday.  It was nothing but sunshine greeting the family as they gathered up the final cupcakes at the end of the blood drive and said their goodbyes, with promises to be back again next year.


Katie Edwards 5 LTD

SIDNEY, Ohio – The show must go on, and so must the spring blood drive at Lehman Catholic High School, even if a crowded school calendar forces some young donors to take a rain check.

Blood drive coordinator Melissa Safreed and her Student Council volunteers did a masterful job filling appointments and the donor beds for the Friday, March 24 spring blood drive.  That’s despite stiff competition from the 39th annual all-school musical with a performance of “Godspell” Friday evening, plus the baseball team’s first scrimmage of the season Friday afternoon at Indian Lake.

“We had the school musical the baseball scrimmage and a double-header softball tournament,” said Melissa. “Students in the musical asked about donating and the answer was ‘absolutely not,’ because of the hot lights and everything. But our parents, alumni and faculty really pulled through.”

The final result was 77 donors, including 17 first-time donors, and 67 donations for 99 percent of the collection goal.

The Lehman Catholic community is dedicated to supporting Community Blood Center.  Lehman hosts two blood drives a year on campus with this year totaling 179 donors, 45 first-time donors and 153 donations.

Lehman encourages seniors to qualify for the Red Cord Honor Program by registering to donate at least three times during their high school years.  The class of 2016 had 40 graduates, and 20 earned Red Cords.  The school is also strongly represented in the CBC/Vectren Lead The Way Scholarship competition with Lehman graduates earning $1,000 scholarships in 2015 and 2013.

It would be unusual for senior Katie Edwards to miss a blood drive. She started donating as a sophomore and made her fifth lifetime donation Friday. “It’s just knowing you’re helping someone, and it makes me feel better about myself,” she said. “My whole family donates.”

Senior Blake Leffel qualified to wear a CBC Red Cord at graduation by making his third lifetime donation at Friday’s blood drive.  He has not applied for the Lead The Way scholarship, but wouldn’t mind winning the $1,000 scholarship to use next year in college.  It means creating a marketing slogan for a blood drive and an artistic expression of the theme to submit by the April 20 deadline.

“I liked the slogan they came up with a couple of years ago with Snapchat on the high school t-shirt,” he said.  “I can’t imagine it would be too hard to come up with a slogan!”


Lehman Catholic High School Student Council blood drive voluteers (L-R) junior Clare Schmiesing, sophomore class president Allison Bornhorst, junior class vice president Griffin West, sophomore class secretary Ann Pannapara, junior class president Abby Jones, blood drive coordinator Melissa Safreed, sophomore class vice president Samantha EdwardsLehman Catholic Red Cord 2017


Carl Hussong 100 LTD

Moraine donor Carl Hussong still dresses all in black, even though he is retired from racing jet-black muscle cars nicknamed “Black Beauty” at Kil-Kare Raceway. He had been retired from donating, but was inspired to make a comeback.  On Thursday, March 23 he made his milestone 100th lifetime donation in memory of former Moraine Mayor Bob Rosencrans.

“I gave every eight weeks for 12-and-a-half years,” said Carl. “But I quit giving because the scar tissue had gotten so bad. My right arm got to where they couldn’t get any blood and my left arm too.”

Carl reluctantly stopped donating in 2008.  He said he didn’t realize he was just one shy of his 100th donation.  But he was inspired to try again when he learned that the seventh annual Bob Rosencrans Memorial Blood Drive was coming up March 25 to again honor the former Moraine mayor who died in a car accident in 2010.

“When I saw that I jumped on it!” he said. “I couldn’t make it Saturday so I came in today hoping I could donate for him.”

Carl is a life-long resident of Moraine and remembers well Bob Rosencrans’ 30-year history of serving the community.  Carl and his wife Sherry have been married for 31 years. Carl retired in 1995 after 30 years of working for GM at the Delphi radiator plant which became the Harrison Radiator Company.

For decades he spent his time helping build cars during the work week and racing them on weekends.

“I had a Pontiac Grand Am and a Trans Am Pro Stock,” Carl said. “My cars were always all black. Men wouldn’t talk about it, but women would say, ‘That’s beautiful.’  So I would always call my cars ‘Black Beauty.’  I’d race them around the quarter-mile track at Kil-Kare and I loved it! I did it for a long time.”

Carl decided to give up his muscle cars when it became too difficult to work on the engines or keep the black panels waxed and shining.  At least it meant no more hassles from Moraine police.

“My cars were always jacked up with the nose pointing down at the ground. One had those big air vents on the hood,” he said. “The cops would pull me over all the time and give me tickets because I had black windows.  They said they were too dark.”

Carl is still the man in black, dark hair and mustache, dark wire frames, black shirt and pants, and a gold cross around his neck. He flies a white flag with a cross from the window of his car – a new Chevy Cruze that he swears is faster off the line than his old pro stock race cars.  He doesn’t call it Black Beauty though.  The color of his Cruze is maroon.

It was a thrill for Carl to learn that after nine years since his last donation, a surprise was waiting as he crossed the finish line to complete his 100th.  He proudly tried on his new – black – “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket.

“Everything I have is black leather and heavy, like for winter,” he said. “I will definitely wear this today!”



Not many CBC donors would recognize Mary Lou Hoendorf but they would surely know her voice.  She served CBC for 15 years as a Customer Relationship Representative.  With her passing on Monday, March 20 at the age of 85 CBC has truly lost a friend and family member.

Mary Lou was a caller who worked the phones in the Donor Relations call center. She cheerfully but determinedly reached out to donors, reminding them about appointments, their eligibility to donate, and to ultimately ask them to give.

“Think you could come down and help us out?” was her signature request.  How could anyone say no to that kind grandmother with the gravel voice?

Like many of her colleagues in the CRR call center, Mary Lou worked part-time hours, usually in the evening when donors are home and may answer the phone.  She didn’t describe herself as “retired” or even partly retired, even though it was a status she had clearly earned.

She and her husband Jack raised a big Catholic family in Dayton.  He was the main bread-winner, working tough, blue-collar labor, while she took care of the kids and took on equally tough, odd-hour part-time jobs to help make ends meet.

For 27 years she rose in the middle of the night to drive her routes delivering the morning papers for the Dayton Daily News.  She had many tales of snow storms and icy roads, but she never neglected her appointed rounds.

She was a short, fireplug of a woman, and her toughness was hard-earned.  Her most interesting tale was about her years on the rink as roller derby girl.  It was an inspiration to imagine her in those days: a young woman in her prime, claiming her place in a rough-and-tumble sports, gliding fast, furious and free.

This is a remembrance from when she celebrated her 80th birthday on the job at CBC in 2011:

Mary Lou Hoendorf is happy working at her desk in the Donor Relations call center, chatting with blood donors, scheduling their appointments and reminding them how much they mean to CBC and everyone in need of the gift of life.  In fact, she thinks it’s a perfect way to spend her 80th birthday!

“My son says, ‘Mom’s doing what she likes best – talking on the phone!’” laughs Mary Lou. “I just like being around people.” 

Of course her four children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren wouldn’t let this milestone go unnoticed.  She turned 80 today (Aug. 26, 2011) but the celebration started a couple of Sundays ago.  Her son said he was taking her to a Reds game, and surprised her with a champagne brunch cruise on the Ohio River with a bunch of family members.  This coming Sunday she will be the guest of honor when the whole family gathers for a birthday dinner at her son’s home in Springfield.

Mary Lou says her boys grew up working the same job mom loved… delivering the Dayton Daily News.  She did that for 27 years until, believe it or not, she started thinking about doing something a little less grinding than those daily 1:30 am paper pick-ups in Franklin.  Her friend Paulette Jeckering told her about an opening at CBC, she was quickly hired, and started a new career at the spry age of 68.

It’s obvious that Mary Lou likes to stay busy.  Her husband Jack passed away 19 years ago.  After 11-plus years she remains dedicated to her job, missing work only for knee replacement surgery.  And she likes having extra money to spend on her grandkids.   Since they all live nearby, she gets to watch them grow-up, which she would admit, is actually better than talking on the phone! 


Mary Lou loved her grandchildren, and was their biggest fan, always attending their basketball and soccer games. But health problems began to slow her down.  She missed games, and eventually had to miss work.  The decision to retire for good was painful.  Her visits with old friends at CBC always ended with tears.

After so many miles… running, rolling, driving, delivering, child-raising, calling and life-saving… it’s Mary Lou’s time to rest.  The Lord has looked down and said, “Mary Lou, think you come up here and help us out?”  She would never refuse.


Sarah Hippenmer 2 LTD

Centerville High senior Michael Markham was feeling lucky about making his first lifetime blood donation Friday, March 17 at the Elks’ St. Patrick’s Day blood drive, even if meant giving up the green.

“I wore green but I had to change because it was long-sleeved,” he said as he made his donation wearing his new Community Blood Center high school t-shirt, a bright blue but with short sleeves. “I’ll have it back on afterwards.”

Michael is a non-Irish red-head, with his ancestry from England and Scotland. As with most of the juniors and seniors who were able to support Friday’s blood drive, St. Patrick’s Day was just one of many notations on a busy spring calendar.

“Today we have probably five or six classes away competing in an off-campus activity,” said blood drive coordinator and Exercise Science teacher Maria Whitaker.  “It was a little bit of an issue, but we had an alternate list we could pull from.”

The Elks came through with 121 donors, including 48 first-time donors and 97 donations for 98 percent of the collection goal.

The Bio-Tech class under Marc Carey takes the lead sponsoring Centerville’s fall blood drive and the Exercise Science class takes over for the spring blood drive.  Maria relies on volunteers, including senior Grace Weir and junior Sarah Pham, to help with sign-ups, check-in, and the Donor Café.

“It feels good to help out by donating,” said junior Exercise Science student Sarah Hippenmer, who made her second lifetime donation Friday.  “It’s mainly the health sciences,” she said of the Exercise Science curriculum.  “It’s a little bit of everything.”

Junior Rose Thomas also made her second lifetime donation Friday. She plays soccer, studies sports medicine at CHS and is considering a possible career in physical therapy.  Like many of her classmates, she didn’t worry about wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day, but she did make sure to work an appointment to donate into her schedule.

“I like helping people,” she said, “and it’s a good cause.”

Margeaux Lim with CBC Randall Wade




Newton Family 2017

RICHMOND, Indiana – A cardboard Darth Vader stood guard at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Richmond Saturday, March 18 while blue and red light saber battles clicked in the hallway and visitors snacked on “Princess Lay’s” potato chips and “Ewok” Teddy Grahams in a Star Wars cantina.

“You have to have a theme,” said Clint Newton about the 5th annual Baby Cooper Day in remembrance of his son.  “If you don’t have a theme, it’s just a blood drive.”

Over its five-year history Baby Cooper Day has always been more than a blood drive.  This year the Newton family from Cambridge City chose a Star Wars theme for the “heavenly celebration” of what would have been Cooper’s fifth birthday.  Family and friends again rallied support, resulting in 82 donors and 71 blood donations for 115 percent of the collection goal. 

Born March 22, 2012, Cooper was three months old when diagnosed with the congenital disorder Noonan syndrome.  He was not yet seven months old when he lost his battle with heart and lung failure and leukemia.

Blood transfusions were part of Cooper’s treatment and that inspired Clint and Beth Newton to organize the first Baby Cooper Day blood drive with Community Blood Center in April of 2013.  Support was overwhelming with more than 100 donors participating, including 45 first-time donors.

Many of those same supporters return year after year to honor Cooper.  The blood drive consistently surpasses its collection goals, and in five years has totaled 459 donors and 376 donations. Saturday marked the third year St. Paul’s Lutheran Church has hosted the blood drive, and the church is a special place for the Newton family.

“When I met Beth this was the church she was going to,” said Clint. “It’s the church we were married in, and it’s where we’ve been going for 14 years in October.  We had our reception right there in this room.”

The birthday remembrance of Cooper is a family event that draws also from a circle of community support. Heather Cauley works with Brent and his twin brother Nick at Wetzel Ford. She made her seventh lifetime donation Saturday and brought her eight-year-old daughter Reagan, a Star Wars fan.

“I really like it she said. “I think this is a great way to celebrate his birthday, a great way to remember him.”

Centerville’s Doug Eliason made his 222nd lifetime donation Saturday, and appreciated discovering the special dedication of this community blood drive at St. Paul’s. “This is a nice location, and they have a lot going on,” he said.

The family supports the Noonan Syndrome Foundation mission to raise awareness about the disease and support research at children’s hospitals.  Beth Newton said she also values the support it provides for families of survivors.

“It’s still very rare, but is a very common cause of infant death,” said Beth. “Many children do survive and it’s good to have support because it is something they live with their entire life.”






DAYTON, Ohio – On the same Wednesday, March 8 morning the “Donor for Life” journeys of two very like-minded men nearly converged at the Dayton Community Blood Center.  Less than an hour apart, Beavercreek’s Robert Williams and Kettering’s William “Bill” Wilson made their milestone 100th lifetime blood donations.

If they had met, they might have shared stories of wood and steel.  Aviation is in Bill’s blood and he has dedicated his life to honing metals into airplane parts. Robert was also dedicated to aviation during an active duty and civil service career as an Air Force engineer.  Now he shapes hardwood into artisan furniture.

Bill, at 79, is four years senior to Robert. Both men enjoy active lives in retirement. Both have trim, slight frames and both chose size “medium” “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jackets with room to spare.  Robert is building a custom bedroom suit; Bill still does mechanical design engineering and loves downhill skiing.

Both are whole blood donors. Both are blood type O positive, the universal donor for all positive Rh blood types. Both are CMV-negative “baby donors,” which means they have not been exposed to the cytomegalovirus.  Hospitals prefer CMV-negative units for children and to ensure safe transfusions to newborns.

Both reached the milestone of 100 lifetime donations on the same morning.


Type O positive blood was in particular demand during the winter months, and Robert Williams is a donor who always answers the call.  “I was actually eligible to make my 100th on Monday,” he said, “but since it rained the last two days I waited. I’m two days late!”

“It goes back a lot of years,” Robert said of the journey to his milestone. “I started in the military in ’66.  I served four years active duty and finished as a captain.  I was here at Wright-Patt and donated some at the base. I got out, and went back to work in the civil service, at the same desk, doing the same things, just with a change of clothes! I retired in July of 2008 with 41 years.”

Robert and his wife Susan have been married 25 years and have two children and five grandchildren. Susan is a physician at the Cleveland Clinic, which means they split time at two homes. After moving their bedroom furniture to Cleveland he began work on the replacements.

“I’m building a bedroom suite in cherry,” he said as he donated. “I started with the bedside table, since that was easy. I did the dresser then I’ll do the chest and finish with a headboard.  I’ll probably go work on it when I’m finished here.”

Robert has had only one detour on his Donor for Life journey.  He was deferred from donating for five years while being treated for prostate cancer.  “I have been blessed with good health,” he said.

He remains dedicated to donating, “Because I can,” he said. “The need is there for it. I’m healthy and able to do it, so why not? I’ll put it on my schedule for two months from now.  It will pop up and tell me it’s time go again.”


Bill Wilson says his father was destined to be a machinist “before he was born.”  Bill learned everything about the skill from his father, who was also an inspiration to donate.

“You have to wait 56 days,” said Bill. “My dad was in the hospital and needed blood.  It wasn’t enough days yet but I donated for him. That was in ’62.” Soon afterwards Bill lost his father to esophageal cancer.

As Bill prepared to make his milestone 100th donation Wednesday, he received some inspiration from his daughter. “My daughter called me yesterday and said she had just given her first apheresis donation,” he said. “She knew I was coming in to do my 100th.”

Bill and his wife Audrey have been married 21 years and have to two sons and two grandsons. “I moved to Dayton around 1974 and started donating then,” he said. “I moved to Oregon for about four years and came back.”

Bill’s father Matthew was born in Scotland.  The story goes that Bill’s grandfather did a favor for a machinist, and the man promised that if he would return some day with his first son, he would teach the boy everything about the trade.  Matthew became the man’s apprentice then took his machinist skills to America.

Bill became his father’s apprentice.  He started out in his father’s machine shop then took his skills to aviation. He worked for Hartzell Propellers, Inc. for 12 years and McCauley Propeller Systems for 27 years.

Bill’s first wife was from East Liberty, Ohio and he remembers seeing construction of the nearby Valley Hi Ski Area in 1962.  “That’s where I learned to ski,” he said. At age 40 he took up the sport at what is now called Mad River Mountain Ski Area, and served as a member of the Ski Patrol for eight years.

Bill has a calling to continue donating, and to keep skiing. He still journeys to big mountains in Oregon and Canada. “Skiing is good for your heart,” he said.