ENGLEWOOD — Mint Chocolate Chip was the “flavor of the day” Thursday, June 29 at the 12th annual JD’s Old Fashioned Frozen Custard “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” Blood drive. But the mission of the day was again helping save lives by boosting the blood supply before the busy July 4th holiday weekend.
JD’s and Fairview Brethren in Christ Church continued the tradition of partnering with Community Blood Center to sponsor simultaneous Union Blvd. blood drives. JD’s again donated coupons for a free pint of frozen custard to everyone who registered to donate at either blood drive.
The July 4th weekend is usually the most challenging time of summer for CBC to recruit enough blood donors. The strong support for both blood drives Thursday was timely because type O blood continues to be in short supply.
“I’m really excited about how many people responded,” said JD’s owner and blood drive coordinator Cindy Gress.
“It’s been really steady,” said Mark Ballard, pastor of Fairview Brethren in Christ Church, who made his 183rd lifetime donation to support the blood drive. “I’ll give again if you need me, I’ve got another arm!”
Mark Ballard said he became a donor with a “double” donation. “I started giving about 30 years ago when my daughter was born with a congenital heart defect,” he said. “She had two open heart surgeries and I started giving then. She’s 29 now and doing great.”
Young Englewood mom Ashley Hall donated while her five-year old daughter Raelyn and eight-year old son Justin waited on the Bloodmobile. “JD’s is nice and convenient and the kids like the ice cream!” she said.
John Combs is 25, but still gets reminders from his mom to donate at JD’s. “She knows it comes around every year, and she lets me know as soon as she finds out!” he said.
First-time donor Erica Brown-Lewis said, “I was a little nervous at first, but I said, ‘We have role models in here!” One of those role models was David Francisco, who made his 51st donation across the aisle from Erica.
David likes the custard, but would really like to win the Indian Scout Sixty motorcycle in CBC’s “Scouting for Donors Summer Blood Drive” giveaway.
“I want the motorcycle,” said David. “My dad had an Indian before I was born. It’s long gone but I’ve seen pictures of it.”
Donating at JD’s felt like playing hooky for Krista Stump, who made her 53rd lifetime donation. She retired as principal of Ansonia Elementary School exactly one year ago and this is her first full summer of retirement.
“I drove all the way from Greenville,” said Krista. “We love JD’s as a family!”
JD’s owner Cindy Gress (back) with staff members Kit Martin, Josie Forsthoff & Brian Wright.
Donor Ashley Hall with children Raelyn & Justin.
Donor and blood drive coordinator Mark Ballard, pastor of Fairview Brethren in Christ Church.