Knights of Columbus give back, one pint of blood at a time

Richard Wagner with Kathleen Currie, from Belmar, as she donates blood. Knights of Columbus Blood Drive at St. Rose Church in Belmar on July 27. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS

BELMAR — Close to 70 people visited St. Rose Parish Center to give blood on Saturday and, in return, received a free breakfast and the knowledge that their donation will save lives. 

The Knights of Columbus Council 5611 hosted its fifth annual blood drive between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., after the group had received an urgent request from New Jersey Blood Services, a division of the New York Blood Center, due to this summer’s blood emergency. 

“There’s a very big need in the summer months,” said Richard Wagner, Knights of Columbus member and one of the blood drive’s coordinators.

“It’s important to realize that’s there’s no way of making blood. Doctors and scientists haven’t figured out how to mass produce making blood. The only way we can get blood is by having people donate.It’s life saving at times… it’s sort of our way of giving back,” he continued.

John Prorok, another member and coordinator, has been giving blood for the past 50 years and was giving blood when he spoke to The Ocean Star. He has a personal reason for giving blood and helping coordinate the annual blood drive, because members of his family have needed blood donations in the past.

“You get close to it, so it’s personal,” said Mr. Prorok. “It’s giving back to the community. The response we get is tremendous. They give up their time, not only their blood. They go out of their way. People come out and do it for a very good reason.”

For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.