WEST MILFORD-Richard J. Codey, Acting Governor of the State of New Jersey, has offered his congratulations to West Milford's Monthly Blood Drive on the sixth anniversary of the event. In a recent letter to Monthly Blood Drive founder and Chairman Jim Gilligan Governor Codey said, "Those who dedicate their time, efforts and skills to help others are among the most valued members of our community. Volunteer blood donations are critically important." He went on to say, "The State of New Jersey recognizes the importance of these donations, and we take great pride in our citizens who selflessly donate the gift of life." The Monthly Blood Drive was inaugurated at the Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Hewitt in June of 1999 with a simple mission statement-to dramatically increase the amount of blood donated and to increase community interaction. Since that time it has moved to a new location the First Aid Squad Building on Ridge Road in West Milfordbut more importantly it has maintained its focus on the core values. The Monthly Blood Drive has accepted over 4,700 blood products (including whole blood as well as platelets) and was one of the first sites in the state to be able to do aphaeresis collections (in this case, platelets). To encourage the support of the community, the volunteers of the Monthly Blood Drive have worked with several scouting organizations (Cub, Girl and Boy Scouts) as well as various fraternal organizations such as the West Milford Elks, the Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus, West Milford's Newcomers Club and many more. Many commercial groups have also climbed on board and offered support, too, including Ortho Clinical Diagnostic, Orange Rockland Electric, The New York Renaissance Fair, the Marshall Hill Road Dairy Queen and several others. The Monthly Blood Drive was recently designated by the West Milford Lions to be an official collection site for used eye glasses and toner cartridges (the Loins used these items to support their own activities). In his letter, Codey also says, "
Your compassion and commitment to the community has indeed impacted and save countless lives, and I join the residents of New Jersey in thanking you for a job well done."