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BIA’s Rita Reilly Blood Drive in Dumont
Honors Her Memory and Helps Others

October 4, 2013


DUMONT, NJ - The Bergen Irish Association (BIA)will hold its 20th anniversary blood drive with Community Blood Services on Friday, October 4th.

The blood drive, now known as the BIA Rita Reilly blood drive, will be held from 3:30 to 9 p.m. at the Bergen Irish Association building, 41 Omaha Street. All donors will receive a 20th anniversary T-shirt for making a life-giving donation at the drive.

Rita started the blood drive 20 years ago as a way to help others after her daughter Noreen passed away unexpectedly. She helped run the drive with her husband Edward and co-founder, Mike Lyons, before she passed away from cancer in 2002 at age 65. Rita, the mother of five, received blood transfusions while being treated for her cancer. The association renamed the drive after Rita’s death and her husband Edward has continued to run the drive in her memory with Mr. Lyons and Eileen O’Flaherty.

Volunteer blood donors are asked to schedule an appointment by calling Community Blood Services at 201-251-3703. Whole blood donors can also walk in but appointments are recommended. “I want to thank all those who have supported the drive during the past 20 years, as well as Eileen O’Flaherty, a close friend of Rita’s and our family, for her hard work and dedication to the drive that Rita started,” Edward said.

“My mom was an amazing mom, wife and friend,” said Carol, “We miss her every day of our lives but she left an impression on our hearts that will last forever. She always put others before herself and taught us that it is better to give than to receive. We strive to pass this gift onto our own children.”

Donors must be 17-75 years old (16 years old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. All donors will receive health screenings with their donations, including non-fasting glucose and cholesterol screenings. Community Blood Services, celebrating 60 years of service in its community, provides blood and blood products to patients in more than 18 hospitals in New Jersey and New York State.

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