OCEAN CITY, Md. – Day 3 of the 25th annual Ocean City Blood Drive booked about 130 donors, and the family and municipal themes we saw on Monday and Tuesday continued on Wednesday, January 24.
Namely, we also saw more Town of Ocean City municipal employees come out to donate, in particular the Ocean City Police Department and Office of the Fire Marshal, and we saw more examples of parents donating with children as well as one grandmother donating with her granddaughter!
In all it was a good day as we collected 144 units from whole blood and double red cell donors, minus deferrals, and no-shows.
The Ocean City Police Department contributed to those numbers in a big way. Among those donating on day 3 from the OCPD were Captain James Grady, Lieutenant Andrew Yeager, Detective David Whitmer (a first-time blood donor), and Crime Analyst Brandon Reim.
“I know it’s important, so let’s just get it done,” Captain Grady said.
“I enjoy giving blood; it’s the least I can do,” Lt. Yeager said. “I try to do it on a regular basis. I do double reds, and when they call me I go to Dagsboro. So I’ll probably wait to do this again in June [when we come back].”
Josh Bunting, a police officer who investigates for the Ocean City Fire Marshal, was also among the donors.
“I appreciate you guys coming here,” he said. “I usually give blood here.”
In addition, retired police officer and former Ocean City Councilman Mark Paddack donated, per tradition. But, this time he brought his son, Thomas Paddack with him. Thomas made history by becoming the first 16-year-old to donate at the annual Ocean City Blood Drive. BBD just added 16-year-old to the donor rolls this school year.
“It’s a good cause. He bribed me to come out with lunch at Chipotle,” Thomas said.
Former Councilman Paddack was glad Thomas came.
“We donated blood in high school when we were over 16,” he said. “I hope he has a positive experience. I’m proud of him.”
Special thanks go to the former Councilman who also went on the air on WGMD radio to promote the blood drive early Tuesday morning. And, what’s more, he came to the event with a custom-made Baltimore Ravens jersey with the name “Ocean City” on the back and the number 10, a nod to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #10 in OC.
Continuing with the family theme of this year’s OC blood drive, Tasha Mason and her daughter, Cameron Mason, donated on day 3, as did Barbara Furst and her mother, Jennifer.
In the case of the Masons, It was Tasha’s idea to come today. But it was not hard to talk Cameron into it, as she coordinates the blood drive at her high school, James Bennett.
“I try to come every year,” Tasha said.
For Cameron, this was the fourth time she donated. Her previous donations occurred at Bennett High School.
Thank you, ladies.
Also, Kathy Drew donated with her grandmother, Autumn Drew. Autumn had donated before at Stephen Decatur High School, and she wanted to donate with her grandmother at the OC blood drive.
“In the past, I used to always to donate here with the Bank of Ocean City,” Kathy said. “I’ve been a member of the Blood Bank for years.”
“I’m a phlebotomy student, and I understand the importance of it,” Autumn said. “There’s a shortage going on.”
Fellow whole blood donor Noah McAleer also illustrated that family feel to the Ocean City Blood Drive. He’s been coming to the event since 2019.
“I’ve been donating blood since 2017. My wife had our first son and lost a ton of blood. She had to get like six transfusions. After that, I said it’s easy for me to do; it’s not difficult. So, I’ve pretty much been donating since then.”
In yet another example of Ocean City’s strong family ties, Blood Bank of Delmarva tech An’Nae Bailey performed the phlebotomy on her sister, whole blood donor Kimyada Wilson. What’s more, their mother, Andrea Bailey, had donated on day 2!
In addition to family, the Ocean City Blood Drive also continued to see strong support from other Ocean City municipal employees, including Mike Redner, who works in park maintenance for the town of Ocean City, and Kay Gordy, zoning administrator for the town.
“I’m just trying to do something good,” Mike said. “I try to do as much as I can. I never did double reds before. I was kind of nervous.”
“I have been with the city for 19 years, and I have done this as often as I possibly could,” Kay said. “I love the T-shirt this year.”
And, similar to day 2, day 3 of the Ocean City Blood Drive featured one of the most famous blood donors of this annual event, Joseph “Skin” Delany. Similar to Bonnie Oliviero, the OC Blood Drive would not be the same without Skin.
Skin donated double reds. He believes donating blood regularly has kept him healthy.
“I always come out. I sort of enjoy the chilliness of it,” he said of the double red procedure, which includes receiving saline. “I started donating at 16. I’m blessed.”
Thank you, Skin, and thank you to all the regular donors who make Ocean City a great event, including Atlantic General Hospital Heart Case Manager Lori Matthews. We could not do it without you.
Last but not least, the Ocean City Lions Club President Greg Cathell presented a $500 donation to BBD Account Manager Bryan Shepherd. Thank you, Mr. Cathell and Ocean City Lions!
“Another January, and another Ocean City Blood Drive is complete,” Bryan Shepherd said. “Thank you to everyone for their efforts in making this drive the success it is. Again, we collected well over 600 units of blood. There are a lot of pieces and processes that are needed for something of that size to get pulled off. It truly is a team effort.”
Ocean City by the numbers:
Monday: 260 units
Tuesday: 227 units
Wednesday: 144 units
Total: 631 units
Community Relations and Volunteer Specialist Angela Williamson, who managed a brigade of 33 volunteers, continued to hustle to book donors’ next appointments. She made 31 appointments as she gave out the famous OC T-shirts.
In double reds, Tony Tedeshi donated with Toni Ruggiero and he was photographed by Tony Prado. “I’m surrounded by Tonys,” Tony Tedeshi said. “Triple T. I try to do the right thing and give blood. I’ve known people that needed to get it, and I try to give back. If I need it someday, I’ve done my part.”