Newsroom

RICHMOND COPS PUT CUFFS ON BLOOD DRIVE CHALLENGE

June 10, 2019

RICHMOND, Indiana - There was reason for suspense going into the seventh annual "Cuffs and Ladders Blood Drive" Friday, June 7 in the Richmond Municipal Building Council Chambers. The Fire Department might get enough help to end the Police Department's five-year win streak in the blood drive challenge.

"We had a lot of new people this year, and some walk-ins," said blood drive coordinator Diane Whitehead, who votes for the Police Department, where she serves as community resource coordinator.  "We don't know how they're going to vote, so it was kind of exciting."

Supporters vote for their favorite public safety team when they register to donate. The firefighters have not claimed the trophy since the first "Cuffs and Ladders" in 2013.   But the intrigue ended with the Richmond Police earning the title for a sixth consecutive year, this time by a 24-7 vote.

Together they helped boost the summer blood supply with 37 donors, including nine first-time donors and 29 units donated for 121 percent of collection goal.

"I voted for police because I have family ties," said Richmond donor Kathy Martin. "I'm more aware of their value to our community. When you know one and have loved ones, it's a big difference."

Kathy cast her vote with her 55th lifetime donation. "I had a blood transfusion in '74 that saved my life," she said. "I'm a big believer in blood donations."

"Cuffs and Ladders" is a friendly competition in the public safety community, and it was all the more heart-felt this year because of the "mothers and daughters" who graced the blood drive.

Diane Whitehead always recruits her family members. "My 85-year-old mother, two sisters and my two daughters all donated," she said.

Alayna Quinn, a 16-year-old at Northeastern High School, came with her mom to make her first lifetime donation.  Alayna is the second oldest in her Williamsburg family of six girls.  Her sister Alicia is age 17 and already has eight lifetime donations.  Her mom Rachel has 28 lifetime donations, and her dad is also a blood donor.

Richmond donor Alaina Moore came to the blood drive with her six-month-old daughter Sophia.  Rachel gladly held Sophia while Alaina donated.  Sophia smiled easily as CBC staff members took turns cuddling the little girl.

Alaina began donating in 2017 at the "Baby Cooper" blood drive at St. Paul's Lutheran Church. The blood drive is in memory of Cooper Newton, who was seven months in 2012 when he died from complications related to Noonan syndrome.    Alaina works with Cooper's mother Beth Newton.

"My first time was at St. Paul's for Cooper," said Alaina as she cradled Sophia and kissed her on the cheek, "and I've gone from there."