AN UNEXPECTED REWARD FOR MILESTONE DONOR RALPH SIMMONS

Ralph Simmons 100 LTD

Trotwood donor Ralph Simmons will proudly wear the “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket he received for making his milestone 100th blood donation with Community Blood Center on June 29.  But he say more recognition than he never expected came from a simple t-shirt.

“I was wearing one of my blood donor t-shirts, said Ralph, “and I actually had people thank me for donating. You don’t know who received your blood.”

Ralph started impacting the lives of others by donating at an early age. “I’m from western New York, north of Buffalo,” he said. “I used to give up there. The first time was in high school. I was 17. We had a blood drive at the fire station in our little town. We had about half our class of 50 or 60 people I graduated with.”

Ralph works for Tom Smith Industries in Englewood.  He and his wife Esther have been married 17 years. He started donating with CBC in 2006.  His milestone donation at CBC came the day after the annual JD’s Old Fashioned Custard “Give a Pint, Get a Pint Blood Drive” in Englewood.  It has special significance for Ralph.

“When I first started it was back at JD’s Frozen Custard, the first time the mobile was there 13 years ago,” he said. “I was with friends of mine and I thought it was the opportunity to give blood that I’d been looking for.  I’ve been doing it ever since then.”

He donated every year at JD’s. Then he became a regular supporter of Englewood, Northmont and Vandalia area blood drives.  But he’s been a regular donor at the Dayton CBC since 2014 when he began donating platelets and plasma.

“They asked me about giving platelets, and that’s been about five years ago,” he said.  The frequency of his donations increased, averaging close to the maximum eligibility of 24 annual donations the past two years.  He reached his 100th donation with his ninth donation of 2018.

“It’s not hard to do,” Ralph said, downplaying the many hours he spends in the donor chair. “The staff here makes it a very bearable situation!”

A DOUBLE CELEBRATION FOR MILESTONE BLOOD DONOR ERNIE JOSCHE

Earnie Josche 100 LTD

Spring Valley donor Ernest “Ernie” Josche retired after 52-year years in the auto industry. He’s been a Bellbrook Lions Club member for 43 years and a Miami Valley Hospital volunteer for six years.  But two of his proudest milestones have come this year.

Ernie and his wife Jeanne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan. 27, and Ernie made his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation at the Dayton Community Blood Center on June 26. “I’m celebrating 50 and 100 in the same year!” said Ernie.

Ernie’s history as a blood donor dates back to his first job with GM. “I was hired into the Delta Moraine plant, and the blood drives came there,” he said. “That was back in ’63.”

Ernie worked as an electronics technician for 37 years. He retired from GM in 1999 and worked another 15 years in the industry before retiring in 2014.

In his 43 years with the Bellbrook Lions he’s held every office and volunteered with all projects, including the Annual Lions Club Festival coming up Aug. 16-18. “I’ve got a Lions Club board meeting tonight,” he said. “There’s a lot to do, but we’ll get it done!”

He’s especially happy to help out with the Lions’ fall and winter blood drives. “I was the one who started it,” he said.

He donates most often at the Dayton CBC, but now also donates at Miami Valley Hospital blood drives.  Most of his volunteer time at the hospital is spent working in the catheterization lab or in archives and records.

Ernie and Jeanne have a son and three grandchildren in Cincinnati and a daughter and two grandchildren in Oklahoma.  They were in Florida for their 50th anniversary but plan a celebration with the family.

Ernie drew closer to his milestone with four donations last year and reached 100 with his third donation of 2018. “I believe in this,” he said. “This is good.  I do a lot of volunteer work and my wife’s the same way.”