Howard Guscar from Tipp City had to move his regular Wednesday apheresis appointment to Friday this week. It happened to be his milestone 150th lifetime donation, and Friday happens to be World Blood Donor Day. Neither of these “snapshot” moments in time is as important to Howard as what he considers to be the big picture. He believes in setting an example for young people, and setting goals to help as many people as possible who are in need of blood.
It’s hard to say exactly how many blood donations Howard has made in his lifetime – we know that the last 150 have been with Community Blood Center (CBC). But he remembers well where his journey as a blood donor began.
“I was a member of Tau Phi Delta, the forestry fraternity at Penn State University,” he said. “We started a blood drive there in 1964, and it’s still going. For 20 some years, it always had 100 percent participation.”
He’s proud of that legacy and hopes a new generation of blood donors will be inspired by similar examples of public service. “It’s good for young people to get involved,” he said. “It’s the least we can do to help mankind.”
CBC presented Howard with a Victorinox Swiss Army wrist watch with “Donor for Life – 150 LTD” inscribed on the watch face. It was a pleasant surprise to this semi-retired biology researcher. He plans to fully retire by the end of the summer and only hopes to have more time to donate.
“My goal is to get to 300 donations,” he said. “Why not? I’m just a couple of years away and I’m still young! I’m 78. I try to stay healthy, and I want to donate 24 times a year. You’ve got to have a goal. I see where your top donor (Wendell Clark) has almost at 600 donations. If he can do that, I can do 300!”