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LifeStream honors 10-gallon blood donors, Sheriff John McMahon, Det. Alex Collins at Gift of Life Tribute celebrations

LifeStream honored “new” and “veteran” 10-gallon blood donors along with San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and SBCSD Det. Alex Collins at its Gift of Life Tribute, 10-Gallon Donor celebrations Sunday, March 2 in San Bernardino and Thursday, March 13 in Victorville.

Multiple-Emmy award winning NBC4 Southern California reporter Tony Shin was master of ceremonies for the San Bernardino event; LifeStream’s Linda Chalmers, RN was mistress of ceremonies in Victorville.

In 2013, 179 donors joined the elite 10-gallon donor list to bring the overall “club” total to 1,961.

Both occasions led off with a Sponsor/VIP reception that included LifeStream Employee Service Awards being presented by LifeStream President/CEO Dr. Rick Axelrod and Julianna Quarles, LifeStream vice president, employee development and training. Employees who marked 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-year anniversaries with the organization in 2013 were feted.

Larry Bloemsma and Bob Hitchman III, LifeStream’s two most prolific blood donors, received standing ovations at the San Bernardino event. Through 2013, Bloemsma had donated 124 gallons; Hitchman 123 gallons.

Bloemsma also was acknowledged for having recently made his 1,000th blood donation. He began donating blood in 1964.

Likewise, Clayton Carmean (73 gallons) brought the Victorville crowd to its feet when introduced as LifeStream’s leading High Desert-based donor.

James Gleason (two donations) and Jon Kyle were recognized at San Bernardino for making lifesaving bone marrow donations in 2013. Last year, the 200th marrow donation was facilitated with a LifeStream donor.

In Victorville, two-time marrow donor Desiree Harrington was honored and made a brief, touching statement on her willingness to donate

Sheriff McMahon was presented LifeStream’s Humanitarian of the Year award by Dr. Axelrod. The sheriff’s department and LifeStream have a longstanding relationship; blood drives hosted by the department in recent years have collected more than 3,000 units of lifesaving blood.

“LifeStream is proud to count Sheriff John McMahon and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as partners in our mission,” said Dr. Axelrod in announcing the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year recipient.

Sheriff McMahon also granted LifeStream access to department personnel, equipment and offices to film the blood bank’s annual donor-patient video, which focuses on Det. Collins treatment, recovery and return to work after being seriously wounded in the February 2013 Big Bear manhunt.

The video is dedicated to the memory of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay, who was mortally wounded in the ambush that also wounded Det. Collins.

In honor of Det. MacKay, his friend and fellow bagpiper Deputy John Hayes played “Rowan Tree” on the bagpipes at the San Bernardino event.

Det. Collins and his wife Lila then accepted from Dr. Axelrod a framed certificate of appreciation and a piece of unique artwork titled “The Badge” created by doctor-turned-artist Don Stewart.

Special guests at the San Bernardino event also included Doug Moore, chief of staff for Supervisor Josie Gonzales; Tony Mejia, legislative analyst for Supervisor James Ramos; and Aaron Jimenez, representing Assembly Member Mike Morrell.

The Kaiser High School Jazz Band entertained at San Bernardino; the Sundevil Jazz Ensemble of Apple Valley High School at the Victorville celebration.

Event sponsors included AON Risk Solutions; Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; Barstow Community Hospital; Barstow Community Hospital Auxiliary; Blood Systems; California Steel Industries; Chino Valley Medical Center; Cintas; Crown Toyota; Desert Regional Medical Center; Haemonetics; Hi-Desert Medical Center; Loma Linda University Health; Merchants Building Maintenance, LLC; Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP; OnTarget Promotions; Redlands Community Hospital; Security Bank; Separation Technology, Inc;, St. Joseph Health, St. Mary Medical Center; Sunrise Ford; and Terumo BCT, Inc.

source: Lifestream Blog

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