Members of the Oswego community came together on December 30 at the Live and Love Life blood drive to honor Cooper Levine in his fight against acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Well more than 100 potential donors were willing to give life-giving blood so that others would have it available in their time of need.
At day’s end, 90 pints of blood had been collected, and 25 individuals had signed up to donate blood at other drives in the area.
Dozens of others attempted to give but were unable or were requested to return to another drive.
An undertaking of this size requires assistance of countless others.
Thanks go first to those who took the time to attend the drive, perhaps taking time from work or play, who patiently waited a turn at the donation tables.
Credit goes to Will and his staff from the Red Cross Blood Services, who heroically dealt with a steady stream of people from the time the doors opened until hours after the drive was officially closed.
The American Red Cross Blood Services of the New York-Penn Region is in charge of arranging local drives; account manager Rob Wasiel coordinated their efforts, and communications associates Kim Becker was in charge of developing their press release.
Their work was much appreciated.
A well-presented CNYCentral story by Dora Scheidell on Cooper and his family sent last-minute signups for the drive well over the target of 100. The press retains the power to move the public with its offerings.
This was also evident in the stories that appeared in the local media.
Others worked behind the scenes: helping with setup, baking cookies, registering people, manning the canteen, cleaning up.
The cookies were delicious and plentiful, and the volunteers were willing to go beyond the necessary in whatever tasks were assigned.
C’s Farm Market and Beverage Center was an event sponsor by providing three huge, well-received crates of fresh fruit, and Pizza Villa donated large cheese pizzas to replenish donors.
Fran Enwright and daughter-in-law, Diane, frequent Red Cross blood drive volunteers, were on hand to help us novices learn the ropes.
Special thanks go to co-chair Cheryl Gardner for her able assistance (again!) and to our wonderful “staff” of the day: Carolyn L., Carolyn H., Molly, Mike, Cathy, Tiffany, Cat, Helen, Kelly, Ryan, and Heather.
You went above and beyond with good cheer and stamina.
Thanks also to those on my list of “emergency” volunteers; it was good to have backup.
Cheerleading was provided all day by Al and Trish Levine, Cooper’s parents.
It has been a frequent role for them in other venues in the Oswego area, and the community responded by giving back — with the gift of life.
Each pint can help up to three people, meaning up to 270 people can be the direct beneficiaries of the Live and Love Life blood drive.
Kate Brown, local coordinator