DSC_0286WEST MILTON, Ohio – Five years after his death from blood cell cancer, memories of West Milton’s “Big Ed” Lendenski were still vivid, warm and boisterous enough to fill the room Wednesday, Aug. 2 at the sixth annual Ed Lendenski Memorial Blood Drive.

“I liked him,” said donor Larry Manson, who met Ed when he was the new assistant football coach at Milton-Union High School.  “Ed had a personality. You met him, you liked him. And once he met you, he never forgot you.”

Maybe that’s why West Milton never forgets Big Ed.  Tuesday’s blood drive was the second held in conjunction with the Lions Club at the West Milton United Church of Christ.  It totaled 63 donors and 49 donations.

“We started at Transfiguration Church and it’s twice now here,” said Lions Club blood drive coordinator Bob Menker. “We’re keeping everyone on the same schedule.”

Ed Lendenski passed away in 2012 at the age of 80 after a long battle with the bone marrow disorder myelodysplastic syndrome.  MDS patients develop severe anemia and his treatment included many blood transfusions. His wife Carolyn and their children Julie Newman, Carol Ann Patton and Eddie Jr. began the memorial blood drive to encourage donations and to honor donors who helped extend his life.

“I didn’t realize it was the sixth year,” said Carolyn. “We started it the year he passed. I can’t believe it.”

“I can’t believe how many people,” said Julie, who told her mom she expected the day to be emotional. “I said I’d probably have to hold your hand!”

Ed was the respected principal and rugged football coach at Milton-Union with a soft spot for all his students, and especially his family.  He had nicknames for everyone and personally delivered small flower bouquets to Carolyn, Julie and Carol Ann every week.

“He always looked out for the kids,” said Carolyn. “He would ask all the teachers to stand outside and greet them. A lot of them came from split families and didn’t have that.

“He wouldn’t let any teachers give test on Mondays.  He knew it was hard in some homes on weekends, or the kids had things to do. Why make them take a test and fail?”

Ed is a West Milton legend, but not a native son. He was born in Natrona, Pennsylvania, played college football, served in the Army during the Korean War, and played on the Army baseball team managed by future Yankees manager Billy Martin.

Carolyn was born in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii three weeks after the Japanese attack. Her dad was a Navy sailor and she met Ed after her family moved home after the war.

A cherished memory is their celebration of their 50th anniversary in 2011.  The staff at Good Samaritan Hospital arranged dinner from the Pine Club in Ed’s hospital room. Ed was weak, but wore a jacket over his pajamas. Father Charles Caserta from Transfiguration Catholic Church renewed their vows.

“It was so nice. We had a special table in the middle of the room,” said Carolyn.  “Their maid-of-honor, best man, neighbors and the whole family were there,” said Julie.

Carolyn remembers a special tribute from a former student after Ed’s funeral.  “He said, ‘thanks for sharing your dad with me.’”


Easton Tyree

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio – A blue wave of police officers and volunteers flooded the Community Blood Center Bloodmobile as the Huber Heights National Night Out celebration got underway Tuesday evening, Aug. 1 at Wayne High School.

National Night Out is an annual campaign that promotes police partnering with the community for better relationships and safer neighborhoods.  The Aug. 1 Night Out marked the second year with Wayne High as the host of the Huber Heights event, and it was the first year to include a CBC blood drive.

The blood drive started at 4:30 p.m. with the Night Out schedule following at 6 p.m.  Many officers, support staff and volunteers signed up for early appointments to donate before reporting for Night Out duties.  That show of support helped the blood drive total 34 donors, including nine first-time donors and 27 donations for 117 percent of the collection goal.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it so I figure I would do it early,” said Communications Officer Lawrence Blosser.  “After this I’m going over to the (Ohio Division of Wildlife) archery trailer.  I am familiar with archery, so when they asked I volunteered for it.”

The archery trailer was just one of the Night Out attractions.  It kicked off with a performance by the Wayne Warrior marching band.  Kids enjoyed trying on SWAT team body armor and getting free pink plastic fire helmets from the firefighters.  Highlights included the police canine unit demonstration, a special landing by CareFlight, and the crowd favorite “Dunk-a-Cop” booth.

“I’m in the dunk tank,” said Officer Larry Tyree while donating on the Bloodmobile. “That means I’m going in!  I did it last year, but this will be the first year after giving blood!”

Larry had a cheering section with his wife Erica and five-year old son Easton waiting for him.  Erica, who coordinated last summer’s Huber Heights “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive,” wore an “I’m Married to a Hero” t-shirt.  Easton’s t-shirt said “My Daddy is a Hero” and CBC staff wrapped his arm in a mini-Cobain bandage so he could look like his blood donor dad.

Asked if he planned to dunk his dad in the “Dunk-a-Cop” booth, Easton said “Oh yea!”

HHPD Dispatch Manager Deborah Wiley made her first lifetime donation while her 13-year old daughter Faith waited. “She wants to go see the canine demonstration,” said Deborah.

Mariann Savard, an advisor for the police Explorer Unit volunteers, also made her first lifetime donation at Tuesday’s Night Out blood drive.  Her husband John is the HHPD public affairs officer and Night Out coordinator.

“Since my husband is in charge of all this I’m kind of his assistant!” Marian said. “He’s got a lot of officers helping him, I’m just a volunteer!”

It wasn’t all police staff and volunteers on the Bloodmobile.  Elisabeth Martinez, a freshman at Kent State in the fall, made her fifth lifetime donation before taking in the Night Out activities with her mom.

“I just graduated from Wayne High School,” she said. “I was in the marching band and I’m going to go watch them!”

That’s one of the goals of National Night Out – bringing friends and neighbors together, getting to know their public safety teams, and enjoying being part of a community on a nice summer night.

Tyree family


Indian Scout Sixty

It’s open throttle time as Community Blood Center enters the final month of the “Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive” with a chance to win an Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle. Everyone who has registered to donate with CBC since May 26 has been entered in the drawing for the motorcycle.  There is still time to enter, but the Sept. 2 campaign finish line is coming on fast.

The grand prize “Scout Sixty” in Indian’s signature racing red has been sitting patiently this summer in the giant showroom of Pony Power Sports in Westerville, waiting to be claimed by the winner of the “Scouting for Donors” drawing.

This particular Scout Sixty is a spirited 983 cc bronc that has never been busted. It will draw its first fiery breath when it’s prepped for delivery to the “Final Drawing” event Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Dayton CBC.  Ten computer-selected finalists will choose identical envelopes, but only one will contain the “golden ticket” for the keys to the Scout Sixty.

The Indian Motorcycle of Columbus dealership is just part of the Pony Power Sports megastore of high-octane road warriors.  It’s nearly the full length of a shopping strip mall, with section after section devoted to the biggest brands in jumbo touring cruisers, flashy Batmobile three-wheelers, off-road four-wheelers, Italian motocross racers, and Japanese supersports.

The Indian Motorcycle line, American-born and bred with the Scout Sixty as a proud descendent, holds its own.

The company dates back to 1897. Indian rolled out the revolutionary Scout in 1920 and it became one of the company’s most successful models, making its name by setting land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

The Indian Scout Sixty was introduced in 2015 as a well-balanced, mid-weight cruiser.  It’s Indian’s entry level bike, which is like calling Ohio State football entry level to the NFL.  The name comes from the engine’s 60 cubic inch displacement. At 983 cc and 78 horsepower, there are no apologies for the strength and speed of the Scout Sixty.

“That’s a lot of horsepower,” said Sales Manager Lenny Baker.  “It’s not a little bike.  It’s a middle-weight. They don’t make a lightweight bike.”

The Scout Sixty gives up little in strength to the heavier full-size Scout with 100 horsepower. But Baker says the Scout Sixty’s nimbler size and weight make it attractive to newer riders, women, and experienced riders looking for more versatility.

“We’ve noticed people who bought heavier-weight bikes buying a Scout Sixty for a second bike,” said Baker. “They’re using it for urban riding, back-and-forth to work. It takes up less room. The bike’s a lot of fun!”

Come Sept. 2, one lucky donor will have won a lot of bike in the Indian Scout Sixty. Free from the showroom and ready for the open road, there will be no holding it back.


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.”