Young Stephen Freeze (far left) with his dad, lifetime donor and former CBC board member Ward Freeze.

DAYTON, Ohio – Attorney Stephen Freeze has a commanding view of Dayton from his law firm office on the 18th floor of the Fifth Third Bank Building. On the window sill he keeps a photo that is both a snapshot from his family’s past and a testimony to why he supports his city and Community Blood Center (CBC) through events like the “Raise the Bar” Law Firm Blood Drive Challenge.
The 40-year old photo is of Ward Freeze making a blood donation. He is flanked by some 212 plastic collection bags, representing his lifetime blood donations, and seven smiling men, most with donor bandages on their arms. The young, dark-haired man on the end is Ward’s son Stephen.
“My dad was the first honoree of the CBC Award of Distinction,” said Stephen Freeze. “He was a plumber and a lifetime donor. He worked with the union to encourage members to donate and he was on the board at CBC.”
Ward Freeze received the Award of Distinction on Nov. 16, 1986. His plaque hanging in the Dayton CBC Donor Café describes him as “Life Leader, Motivator, Donor Recruiter.” “My dad came up with the Life Leaders Club,” explained Stephen. “It was about businesses getting teams together to donate.”
The torch has passed to Stephen, who made his 147 lifetime donation on Tuesday, Oct. 30, the day of the “Raise the Bar Challenge” sponsored by his law firm Freund, Freeze and Arnold in the Courthouse Plaza S.W. building.
“The first year, it was just our firm outside with the mobile unit,” he said. “Last year Faruki, Ireland and Cox joined and this year Dinsmore and Shohl, so there are three of us competing. There’s no big prize, it’s just for bragging rights!”
“There is a trophy,” says Brenda Hinkle, who served as drive chairperson for Faruki, Ireland and Cox. “I believe it’s a blood drop that Freund, Freeze and Arnold has, but I’m assuming we’ll get it this year!”
Brenda was right. FIC won the Challenge with the best percentage of employees to donate. Overall, 43 registered for the drive (including seven first-time donors) and donated 34 units for 113 percent of goal.
Partner Jeffrey Cox stopped by to support the drive and the competition. “It’s been good for encouraging people to donate,” he said. “There’s always some you have to grab by the ear and pull a little bit! But we’ve had a good show of support.”
“I saved the date,” said Denise Sutter, who made her 21st lifetime donation at the drive and cast her vote for her firm, Dinsmore and Shohl. Elizabeth Pleuthner made her third donation at the Raise the Bar blood drive. She got started as a donor at the first Freund, Freeze and Arnold drive. “I remember my first time on the bus!” she says.
The donors gave credit for a strong show of support to the three drive chairpersons: Brenda Hinkle from Faruki, Ireland and Cox, Laura Stevens from Freund, Freeze and Arnold and Heather Evers from Dinsmore and Shohl. “They did a great job organizing it all,” said Kelly Cline from Faruki, Ireland and Cox. “Cudos to them!”

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