DAYTON, Ohio - On a Saturday morning beaming with spring sunshine the annual birthday blood drive in memory of former Moraine Mayor Bob Rosencrans was again a spring renewal, and chance to celebrate a life well lived.
The March 25 gathering at Community Blood Center marked the seventh annual blood drive since Bob's 2010 death in a car crash. His daughter Megan and son Wes continue to serve as the coordinators who gather family members and recruit old and new friends.
Saturday morning 26 donors signed-in to show their support for the blood drive. It contributed to busy day the Dayton CBC with 43 whole blood donors, 37 whole blood donations and 12 apheresis donations.
Each spring blood drives brings changes and growth, as the Rosencrans grandkids grow older, the circle of friends widens, and new families form. James Hardwick and Allison Baker donated at last year's memorial blood drive. This year they donated as man and wife, just a few weeks after their wedding.
Saturday was a special celebration for Wes' wife Brandy. "I was able to donate for the first time in a long time!" she said. "It was the first time I was able to donate in his name."
Brandy had just given birth to daughter Reese days before the second annual Bob Rosencrans blood drive. Health issues have also prevented her from donating. But she was determined to donate Saturday. "I had trouble at first and they asked if I wanted to keep going and I said yes!" said Brandy. "I was very happy."
The Donor Café was filled with family and friends sharing stories, enjoying homemade cupcakes and looking at family photos. "I brought some new people and new friends from my work," said Megan Rosencrans. "Some are donating for the first time."
James and Allison Hardwick were not first-time donors, but it was their first donation as a married couple. They were part of a group that started Saturday morning by running the "No Butts About It" 5K Run for Colon Cancer Awareness in Beavercreek.
"We made sure we scheduled our appointments later in the morning so we would have time to eat something in between," said James Hardwick. Co-worker Sarah Furrer took part in the morning run and decided she felt strong enough to donate. Megan's friend Caitrin Kilbane also did both the race and the blood drive.
"I was here last year but wasn't able to donate," said Caitrin. "So this is officially my first time donating for the blood drive."
Megan also gets traditional support for the blood drive from her friend Kristen Davis, who donates with her dad, WDTN-TV Chief Meteorologist Brian Davis. This year they brought along brother Brett Davis, who first donated at Alter High School and made his third lifetime donation in Bob Rosencrans' memory.
"Krissy and Megan are good friends and now we've made it something we do every year," said Brian.
Brian predicted sunshine for Saturday with rain perhaps holding off until Sunday. It was nothing but sunshine greeting the family as they gathered up the final cupcakes at the end of the blood drive and said their goodbyes, with promises to be back again next year.