For the News-Current
DAYTON — Beavercreek donor Bill Skelly wore a canary yellow Hawaiian shirt and blue orchid lei to his Thursday, May 28 donation appointment at the Dayton Community Blood Center . His “aloha” look wasn’t in celebration of the Hawaii vacation he might win in the “Get on Board” summer blood drive drawing, nor his pending retirement, not even his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation. “It’s after Memorial Day,” he said, “and I wear these shirts!”
“I started donating in the late ‘70s,” Bill said about the journey to his 100th donation milestone. “I got away from it for a while, but I went back. I was working at GMAC on Needmore Road and I could donate there.”
Bill’s career has been in IT, developing software for GM’s financial services, which later became EDS and is now a division of Hewlett Packard. Asked if was retired from HP, he said, “As of tomorrow I am!” His plans for retirement are pretty simple – “Play golf and go to the beach,” he said – and that’s a perfect fit for his outfit.
Bill tried on the black “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” he received from CBC, and it was quite a contrast to the colorful clothing underneath. He insisted “I didn’t even think about it” when he arrived wearing Hawaiian garb to the Dayton Donor Center, which is decorated in an island theme in honor of the “Get on Board – Give Blood Summer Blood Drive.” Anyone who registers to donate May 4 through Aug. 28 is automatically entered in the drawing to win a deluxe, expense-paid vacation for two in Hawaii.
He wore the new Donor for Life jacket to pose for a photo with his 24-year-old son Will, who made his 7th lifetime donation in the donor bed right next to his dad. “I’m not surprised,” said Will, as he kidded his dad about the milestone, and his favorite cookie in the Donor Café. “He’s here all the time for the Pinwheels – he can’t be seen buying them for himself!”
Bill and Will are both entered in the drawing for the Hawaii vacation for two. If either wins, the other could go along as a guest. Bill could even loan Will one of his “aloha shirts” just for the trip.