DAYTON, Ohio - The family of former Centerville Police officer John P. Kalaman, their Centerville neighbors, and the public safety community will again honor his memory with the 17th annual Community Blood Center (CBC) John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive Monday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Centerville Police Department, 155 West Spring Valley Road.
Kalaman and Washington Township Firefighter Robert O'Toole were killed after coming to the aid of an accident victim on an ice-covered section of I-675 in January of 1998. The victim of the original collision had been taken away by ambulance when the two men were struck and killed and another firefighter severely injured by a vehicle that lost control on the ice.
The tragedy prompted passage of Ohio's "Move Over, Slow Down" law for motorists approaching a stationary emergency vehicle. The annual blood drive in John Kalaman's name has been held on or around his April 27th birthday since 1998 and nearly 3,900 blood donations have been made in his honor. An annual golf outing fundraiser and college scholarship program also continue in his name.
Part of the tradition of the Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive is the dedicated support it receives from the law enforcement community. "The value and life-saving importance of donating blood cannot be overstated," said Centerville Police Chief Bruce Robertson. "As a longtime and frequent blood donor, I find it personally rewarding to know that by taking a short time out of my day every couple of months, I have saved or prolonged countless lives, probably more so than I have done in the course of my career."
John's parents John and Paula Kalaman continue to serve as coordinators of the blood drive, as they have done since they proposed the first blood drive in 1998. "We would like to see it getting bigger every year, but we know there are so many blood drives," said Paula. "John and I always say, between the blood drive and the scholarship, John has touched more lives since he died than he ever would have. He is still reaching out."
"I know that Paula and John Kalaman began this memorial on John's birthday as a fitting and wonderful way of keeping his memory alive," said Chief Robertson. Even though their son's life was too soon taken, they had the heart and fortitude to see that, through this blood drive, others' lives are saved. I can think of no better memorial and it is reflective of John's spirit and service to his fellow man."
Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or by calling Paula Kalaman at (937) 293-3373.