July 18, 2019

ENGLEWOOD, Ohio - Blood is a family bond for the Davenport family. It's also a family bond for the moms and daughters, fathers and sons who came to the Englewood Government Center July 17 to donate at the eighth annual Bill Davenport Memorial Blood Drive.

Sgt. Bill Davenport was an Englewood police officer for nearly 38 years.  In 2011 he lost his 10-year battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer that attacks the plasma cells in the bone marrow. The family continues to host the blood drive to honor his memory, encourage blood donations, and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

The blood drive is coordinated by Bill's son Brett and held in July to honor Bill's July 31 birthday and to help Community Blood Center boost the summer blood supply.  Wednesday's blood drive totaled 30 donors and 24 donations for 100 percent of goal.  The eight-year total is now 422 donors and 345 donations.

"We don't have any plans to stop it," said Bill's son Cory Davenport. "As Brett said, the grandchildren could take it over.  It's almost like it's his birthday party. We get the family together."

"If we didn't have it anymore, it wouldn't seem right," said Bill's widow Joann Davenport. "Bill would be so pleased because it's such a good way of giving back."

Donors came to give back to their community, and for many to share the spirit of giving from one generation to another.

Katelyn Evans is a recent Northmont High and Miami Valley CTC graduate who encouraged her mom Shana to make her first lifetime donation. "She donated in high school and she told me about this one in Englewood," said Shana. "I said, Well, OK!'"

Nestor Aguilar came to donate with his son Jason, a 2019 Northmont High graduate who already has six lifetime donations. "He's the one that always says, 'We need to donate, we got to go!"

John Glink is a senior at Northmont High, where he started donating at his school blood drive.  But it was his mom Kathleen who suggested they go together to the Bill Davenport blood drive.  "She's donated before, but it's been a while," said John. "It was her idea."

Englewood donor Cathy Krizner wanted to support the Davenport family and the fight against blood cancer.  She donates also for her daughter Sarah, a lymphoma patient.

"My daughter is also a cancer survivor," Cathy said. "She's 17.  She was diagnosed before her 13th birthday. She received transfusions over the years. We were donors before, but it's a little more special now."

Cathy stopped to buy tickets for the LLS benefit raffle from Joann before leaving the blood drive.   "Sarah is doing great," she said. "She's going to be a senior at Northmont this year."