Family, friends and former Ohio EPA colleagues of Harold O’Connell will sponsor a memorial blood drive in his honor Thursday, Jan. 10 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the downtown Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC).
The drive coincides with January National Volunteer Blood Donor month and the CBC “I Am a Blood Donor” campaign.
The first Harold O’Connell Memorial Blood Drive was held at the Dayton CBC in January of 2012. O’Connell collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack after finishing the Tadmor 10K Road Race at the Taylorsville MetroPark on Aug. 6, 2012. He is remembered as a dedicated runner, environmentalist and blood donor.
O’Connell lived in New Lebanon and was a long-time member of the Ohio River Road Runners Club. He supervised hazardous waste inspections at the Dayton office of Ohio EPA and encouraged co-workers to run with him at lunch and take part in ORRRC events. Blood donating was among his many passions, and his wife Lisa O’Connell says he was especially proud of his “Five Gallon Donor” pin.
“This is a way for us to keep honoring Harold,” said drive chairperson Laura Marshall, a former colleague of O’Connell’s at Ohio EPA. “Since donating blood was so important to him, it’s a way to keep his memory alive.”
The memorial drive honors his legacy as both a blood donor and a tissue donor for his gifts to Community Tissue Services (CTS) and the Lions Eye Bank of West Central Ohio.
The Harold O’Connell Memorial Blood Drive will be held Thursday, January 10 at the downtown Dayton CBC branch from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. It is open to the public.