CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — The Centerville community is helping those in need while paying tribute to John Kalaman, a Centerville police officer who was killed in the line of duty 23 years ago.
It was a bittersweet day for his parents, John and Paula Kalaman, as they return to their son’s annual memorial blood drive.
“It was so hard when we couldn’t be here. It was the first time we’ve ever missed and of course, we missed because of COVID, and we just watched the clock all day long,” said Paula Kalaman, Officer Kalaman’s mother.
Officer Kalaman and Washington Township Firefighter Robert O’Toole were hit and killed by a driver while responding to an accident on January 12, 1998. On Kalaman’s 53rd birthday, his parents were given a plaque in his honor.
“I feel honored but all of the praise goes to him for what he sacrificed and what we are doing in his name,” Paula said.
The drive is hosted by the community blood center who says volunteers have helped donate more than 4,336 units of blood in Kalaman’s name so far.
“They have possibly saved three to four lives with their donation and that’s that many more people who won’t have to go through the tragedy of a loss,” Paula said.
The blood drive will be held until 5 p.m. at the Centerville Police Department, 155 West Spring Valley Pike. Everyone who registers to donate will receive the “Stop Waiting, Start Giving” t-shirt.