Yesterday, in cooperation with the Red Cross and Be the Match and Saint Michael's Parish, we hosted a blood drive and bone marrow registry in honor of Maureen. The turnout for the blood drive was fantastic. Since it was our first blood drive, the Red Cross had set a goal of 34 units of blood; however, we collected 51 units of blood and could have collected much more. We had to turn people away because the Red Cross ran out of supplies! It was a great tribute to Maureen. I had a great deal of help in putting this together from a wonderful group of friends. The team of volunteers canvassed North Andover and surrounding towns putting up posters and put links on their Facebook pages, etc. and even set up a Sign Up Genius for volunteers to sign up. They also assisted on the day of the drive. Many businesses throughout the area displayed the posters. Stachey's Pizza, owned by our friends the Hollands, kept us fueled with donated pizza! I am very grateful to all of these dear friends who put in time and effort to make this a fitting tribute to Maureen's memory.
Three of the nurses who cared for Maureen at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - Bridgett, Julie and Sam - came out to the blood drive. It was wonderful to see them again.
As if it wasn't a big enough day already, it was also Emma's 16th birthday! Emma's volleyball team came to help with the blood drive (they were too young to actually donate), and the coach, Ms. Pinkston donated a unit of blood! While it certainly wasn't your typical "sweet sixteen" party, it was definitely a very meaningful one. However, we did have birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday"!
Maureen's mother Kay came in from Ohio for a visit, staying here from Saturday through yesterday, and my sister Gina also made a surprise visit from New York, coming to Emma's volleyball game on Monday and staying through this morning. Maureen's Aunt Debbie, her cousin Margien and her cousin Joe's wife Jane, were all present at the blood drive.
I can't say, "thank you", enough to all of the volunteers who made this such a successful event. Their efforts were testimony to how much they loved Maureen and wanted this to be a fitting tribute to her memory.