DAYTON – Of the 169 donors who filled the beds at the Dayton CBC last Monday, three of Ohio’s top state and congressional leaders were included.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, a University of Dayton grad, was the first to donate. He was followed by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio 13th), a presidential candidate from Youngstown, and U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio). All felt a call to include donating in their busy schedules out of compassion to the victims and in unified support of Dayton and the Miami Valley.
“You always have to look at the good that happens sometimes when you see this kind of tragedy and Dayton has been unbelievable,” said Rep. Ryan. “People go from rage to tears, rage to tears.
“I think it’s the beauty of the community coming together,” Ryan added. “I’m from outside of Youngstown, and this is so indicative of community around the county, tightknit, scrappy, working class.
Portman concurred with Ryan.
“It’s been heartbreaking to the whole Miami Valley and really the whole country,” Portman said.
“I have friends and colleagues an all over the country,” Portman added. “It’s so senseless and so horrible.
“People who were out in the Oregon District got in the middle of a madman’s rampage. Everybody’s responding to that and seems to me once again the Dayton community is doing it.”
Husted agreed with Portman and Ryan.
“It feels great, it’s simple and easy process,” said Husted. “I’m excited to know about what‘s going to happen Friday with the Dayton Strong donation event. It’s simple and easy and a good way for everybody to contribute to someone who is in need.
“We all have that sense and feeling after what happened in the last couple of days,” Husted added. “We’re all in this together.”
In a related event National Night Out, a community event to engage law enforcement officers and citizens came at a sensitive time this summer. The event was held on Aug. 6.
After the tragedy of the Oregon District mass shooting, communities across the Miami Valley were compelled to personally thank police offices and first responders. At the Night Out Blood Drives in Huber Heights and Miami Township, they also found an opportunity to give back.
The third annual Night Out Blood Drive was held at Wayne High School, sponsored by the Huber Heights Police Department. Miami Township Police hosted a Night Our Blood Drive for a second year at the Austin Landing celebration.
“I will say our city in our partnerships with our schools, we do a good job bringing people together in the community with first responders,” said Huber Heights City Councilman Richard Shaw who donated at the Huber Heights Night Out. “This year we’ll have first responders, Task Force One, family fun, kids. It’s a good opportunity to come together, especially in the wake of what happened in El Paso and in Dayton this weekend.”
The Community Blood Center Bloodmobile at Wayne High was flanked by police, military, and emergency vehicles on display, including a pink fire engine for breast cancer awareness. A favorite event is the Police K-9 demonstration
“The kids really like to see it,” said Huber Heights Officer Cory Siegrist.
He donated before beginning a busy Night Out schedule that include an attack demonstration with his police K-9.
“I wanted to donate early,” said Huber Height Police Department dispatcher Tammy Chapman. I work 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. tomorrow, so I’ll probably be in bed before the blood drive is over.”
The Park at Austin Landing was a hub of activity during the Miami Township National Night Out with vendors, a bounce house, and a lawn chair audience for the live music. Donors made their way across the park to the CBC Bloodmobile.
“I wanted to donate,” said Bellbrook’s Katrina Seiter, as she proudly showed a 1990 Community Blood Center Donor ID card she found before coming to Night Out Blood Drive.
“My brother was a Dayton cop and my brother-in-law was also a Dayton policeman,” said Seiter. “It runs in the family.
“I love our first responders, especially for what they did Sunday, what they did to save lives,” added Seiter. “My brother was a cop for 30 years. You’ve got to support the ‘Blue.’”
Chris and Kim Pelfrey came to Austin Landing with their daughter Zillah to enjoy Night Out, saw the CBC Bloodmobile and decided to donate.
“We just wanted to go, watch the band, and get out of the house,” said Kim Pelfrey. “My husband said he had been wanting to do it for a while, so we did.”
Kim Pelfrey was one of eight first-time donors at Austin Landing Night Out. The blood drive there totaled 37 donors and 33 donations.
Huber Heights Night Out totaled 31 donors and 24 donations.
Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org.