Local Community Blood Center Celebrates 50 Years
Thursday afternoon, a couple of us from the front office attended the Community Blood Center’s annual "Celebration of Giving" luncheon. We were just two people in a room of 500 giving Kansas Citians, gathering to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Blood Center. The luncheon as a whole was quite moving as several "New Century Society Members" – area blood donors who have donated at least 100 times in their lives – were recognized as well as area organizations, churches, high schools, colleges and communities for their parts in giving and collecting blood.
The Royals were named "Partner of the Year" (check out our "blood drop" award) as a follow up to the tremendous success of our 15th Annual Royals Hall of Fame Blood Drive. Last season – with your help – the week-long drive in July had more than 1,800 registered donors, which translates into approximately 3,111 units of red blood cells produced. The numbers collected at the fixed sites, which spanned from the Greater Kansas City area to Topeka and Lawrence, Kan., and St. Joseph and Jefferson City, Mo., and the mobile drives during the five-day drive easily topped the goals set for 2007.
But, easily trumping all those numbers and figures and the recognition given to the Royals, were the stories of the other people sitting at our table – Table No. 4 – during Thursday’s luncheon.
We had the honor of sitting across from Jim Schumm. Jim – who has donated more than 13 gallons of blood in his lifetime – was recently part of a pretty-inspiring story that ran in the Kansas City Star on Feb. 17 (read it here). Seated next to us at the table was the other half of the story, the recipient of Jim’s blood: 9-month-old Emaline Schwagerman. As Baby Em’s mom, Cindy, held her, her dad, Bill, moved the luncheon guests with his testimony of his daughter’s road to recovery and ended his speech with a heartfelt request that we all continue to give blood…continue to save lives.
So, keeping that message in mind, we can’t help but look forward to working with the Community Blood Centers this summer for the 16th annual Royals Hall of Fame Blood Drive!