Long-time friends and blood donors William Ferrara and Connie Rowland

It’s nice when good habits are hard habits to break. Over time they become known as a tradition or a custom. For long-time NCR colleagues William Ferrara and Connie Rowland, giving blood and helping save lives is one of the foundations of their friendship. They have built a tradition of one person being a good influence on the other.

William is from Miamisburg and works as a software engineer at Teradata. He was on his lunch break when he made his 110 lifetime donation Thursday, Oct. 18 at the downtown Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC). He made his first donation at a lunch-time blood drive when he worked at NCR, and he gives credit to Connie.

“That lady over there, we worked together for years,” he said, pointing across the donor room toward Connie who was finishing her 87th lifetime donation. “We made it a point to go out to lunch and give blood. She’s retired now, but we still do it.”

“I talked him into giving blood the first time” said Connie, who lives in Springboro. William became a regular whole blood donor, supporting drives at NCR and visiting the Dayton CBC. He actually passed Connie in lifetime donations when she was busy raising her family.

They continued their tradition of lunch and blood donations even after William left NCR, and have kept it going after Connie’s retirement. “It makes a difference,” said Connie about the tradition of giving blood. By their count, they’ve known each other 32 years, and their donations have touched countless lives. “We’ve been friends a long time,” said Connie. That friendship has been a good habit to keep.

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