Jill Hoehn-Kolp’s dad was suffering from lung cancer, which metastasized into bone cancer, and was receiving transfusions on a regular basis, including platelets every two weeks.
“I presented the idea to our dealership’s owners and they said, ‘Sure, sounds like a good idea,’ so we went with it,” says Conti, payroll administrator at the Cleveland-area dealership.
Conti and Hoehn-Kolp, service dispatcher, had previously donated blood on their own, and Conti said Hoehn-Kolp liked the idea of hosting a blood drive at the dealership in her dad’s honor. Sadly, her father died just two weeks prior to the event.
There was never any doubt, however, that the dealership would go forward with the blood drive — its first — in memory of Hoehn-Kolp’s father and to help others in need of blood.
From noon to 6 p.m. on June 11, the American Red Cross set up a blood donation station inside the dealership’s showroom. More than 20 people donated – many of them fellow employees.
“We put the word out on our Facebook page about the opportunity,” Conti says. “We had a couple of walkup customers. One customer came in to pick up his license plates and decided on the spur of the moment to donate blood.”
Reactions to the event were very positive and, as a result, the dealership employees feel good about what it accomplished even though, sadly, Hoehn-Kolp’s father didn’t live to see it happen.
“We have a consensus that we should do it again,” Conti says, “so it likely will become an annual or semi-annual event.”