DAYTON, Ohio - When John and Paula Kalaman host the John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive Wednesday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Centerville Police Department it will mark the 20th year blood donors have paid tribute to their son, the young Centerville Police officer who dedicated his life to assisting those in need.
Community Blood Center will hold the blood drive in the CPD training room, 155 West Spring Valley Road. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 293-3373.
Officer Kalaman and Washington Township Firefighter Robert O'Toole were killed, and another firefighter injured, while responding to an accident on I-675 in January of 1998. A motorist lost control, crossed three lanes of traffic, and struck the men in the median.
John and Paula Kalaman supported passage of the "Move Over, Slow Down" law for motorists approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with emergency lights activated. They hosted the first blood drive in their son's memory on April 27, 1998, the date of what would have been his 30th birthday.
"Twenty years is a long time," said John Kalaman. "I'm sure there have been blood drives going on that long and longer. The fact that last year we actually went over 4,000 units of blood donated… it's amazing."
"We have folks that have donated every year since we started and come back year after year," he said. "If the second year nobody showed up we would have stopped right there! It's heart-warming that so many do this in memory of John."
The Kalamans will mark another milestone in September with the 20th annual John P. Kalaman Memorial Golf Tournament. Money raised by the tournament supports a memorial college scholarship fund for Centerville and Washington Township graduates.
"The scholarships awarded this spring will put us over $250,000," said John. "We don't do it all. It's the people who support both events. We seem to get more every year. It's really gratifying."