ENGLEWOOD — Part of former Englewood police officer Bill Davenport’s legacy is a career spent protecting lives through dedicated police work. Thanks to the 4th annual Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive Thursday, July 30 at the Englewood Government Center, his legacy is also about saving lives through blood donations.
The Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive registered 48 donors, including eight first-time donors, resulting in 38 blood donations for 109 percent of the collection goal.
Bill Davenport served the Englewood community for nearly 38 years in law enforcement. He died in 2011 after a 10-year battle with blood cancer. The Davenport family started the memorial blood drive in 2012 to honor his memory by encouraging blood donations, especially for the treatment of cancer patients, and to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Family members, with Bill’s son Brett as blood drive coordinator, recruited local businesses (and this year, Kings Island) to donate prizes for a drawing. Last year’s blood drive drawing raised $550 for LLS.
After a 4th successful memorial blood drive, Brett says the family feels it is accomplishing its goals.
“I think so,” he said. “We can phone, text, email, asking people to please come help. It’s a tough time of year. People are on vacation, and it’s hot! We see different faces, and that’s good too. We see people who haven’t been here in a couple of years and come back, and people who have been here all the last four, and that’s great.”
Thomas Smith from Clayton made his 25th lifetime donation Thursday. He began donating at Northmont High School, where he said, “I talked to the nurses and they kind of brainwashed me that this is a good idea!”
He knows Brett as a neighbor and was glad to donate at the Bill Davenport blood drive for the first time. “It’s mainly about helping a friend and supporting blood donations,” he said.
Trisha Stayer is another dedicated neighbor. “I’ve been here every year,” she said as she got ready to make her 9th lifetime donation. “Last year I couldn’t donate (because of a travel deferment) but I still came.”
Recent Carroll High School Red Cord graduate Mackenzie Lane talked her mother Joy into making her first lifetime donation at last year’s Bill Davenport blood drive. They were back again this year with Joy making her second lifetime donation.
Army recruiter Tom Frydrych was new to the Bill Davenport blood drive. He had made his first donation while on a recruiting trip to Twin Valley South High School and was motivated to donate again.
“The first I gave at Twin Valley I got a call saying my blood was used for an accident victim,” he said.
The memorial blood drive traditionally attracts members of the public safety community because of Bill’s service in Englewood, and Brett’s work as a firefighter. He recruits former colleagues at the Xenia Fire Department, and his current co-workers at the Kettering Fire Department.
“I worked with Brett at the Xenia Fire Department,” said firefighter Cory Stroup, who made his 28th lifetime donation Thursday.
“I saw the flyer and we talked about it. This is my first time coming here. I try to donate every two months.”
Brett finished a 24 hour shift at the fire house at 7 a.m. Thursday then spent the rest of the day busy with the blood drive. He was exhausted and a bit dehydrated when he finally settled into a donor bed at 7 p.m. as the blood drive was coming to a close to make his 8th lifetime donation. He still had the energy to trade jokes with fellow Kettering firefighter David Walker who was in the next donor bed.
“This is my second Davenport blood drive,” said David. “I was here last year and that was my first time donating. I guess you could say Brett did a good job recruiting me!”