DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Centerville Public Safety will host the 25th annual John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive Wednesday at the Centerville Police Department from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event has produced nearly 4,500 pints of blood since its inception in 1998.
Wednesday would mark fallen police officer John Kalaman’s 54th birthday. He along with firefighter Robert O’Toole were struck and killed while responding to an accident in 1998. Even after Kalaman’s death, he is still serving and saving lives in the community.
Paula Kalaman, John’s mother said, “Over 4,000 units have been donated in his memory and when that’s broken up into its three components that’s over 12,000 people who have been saved, so yeah I am famous for saying, ‘I think he’s touched more lives since he’s been dead than he would have alive.’ when you think about 12,000 people possibly saved in his memory.
Over those 25 years the event is still one of the larger blood drives around the area, and that is why the family keeps the event going.
John Kalaman, the fallen officer’s father, said, “I mean, it’s a good thing, it keeps John’s name alive and his memory alive in the community, and the community seems to enjoy it because every year we have a great number of people who come in and a big number of people we see every year.”
The response from the community shows the bonds the community has with law enforcement and first responders.
Mark Pompilio, Community Blood Center public relations and marketing manager said, “There has been this consistent effort from the family, from their friends, from the people of Centerville, and from safety officers everywhere, police, fire, all supporters of the Kalaman Blood Drive that have made this an annual event, something that they’ve made a sort of a pilgrimage, a homecoming if you will to come and honor John’s memory and Robert’s memory.”
They will accept walk-ins but recommend scheduling ahead of time to keep things as organized as possible. You can schedule an appointment by going to DonorTime.com or by calling (937) 461-3220.