DAYTON, Ohio – Centerville donor Bill Morgan is a familiar face at the Dayton Community Blood Center, especially when he delights fellow donors and staff by arriving in his Santa Claus costume to donate at Christmas time. But Bill chose a different holiday to mark his milestone 200th lifetime donation.
“I told my wife, ‘What better day to do my 200th than St. Valentine’s Day?’” Bill said as he donated platelets on St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. “She agreed, and I was on my way. I figured this is a gift from the heart to say the least!”
Bill is a retired IT manager who once worked as a professional Santa. He’s not as big as the typical jolly old elf, so he relies on ample padding under his Santa suit. But Bill is the genuine item when it comes to his snowy white beard. He debuted in 2000 at Springfield’s Upper Valley Mall with his late wife Bonnie as “Mrs. Claus.”
Bonnie passed way in 2010. It was around that time that Bill became a platelet donor. He continues to dress as Santa to donate at CBC, and will perform as Santa to help his favorite charities. When the holiday season comes around he will become St. Nick to visit the NIC unit at Miami Valley Hospital. He also plans to make his traditional visit to the St. Vincent de Paul Family Shelter to deliver presents to youngsters on Christmas Day.
Bill and his wife Evelyn were married in July of 2016 and she often accompanies him as Mrs. Claus. “I have a good time with it, and I’ll keep doing it until I can’t do it anymore,” he said.
He’s just as dedicated to his donation schedule. He tries to visit CBC every two weeks and drew closer to his 200th donation milestone by making 26 platelet and plasma donations in 2018. “As long as you guys keep telling me you need my platelets,” he said, “I’ll keep showing up.”