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ConnectLife Honors Exceptional Blood Drive Sponsors

ConnectLife Honors Exceptional Blood Drive Sponsors

Western New York has a generous population of blood donors who are eager and willing to give up a piece of themselves to help make sure a neighbor they may never know will get another chance to be with family and friends. But the only way they can give that selfless gift is if a local business, school, organization, or everyday person is willing to host ConnectLife for a drive and help get the word out to potential donors.

That’s where the exceptional honorees and blood drive sponsors you see below come in. Each of them goes above and beyond in making sure that the blood drives they host are a success, and ConnectLife cannot begin to thank them for their exceptional partnership and dedication to the cause of saving lives here in Western New York.


Moog Inc.  accepted ConnectLife’s Business Partner of the Year 2024

Moog is one of Western New York’s premier businesses, known worldwide for its work on motion and controls in everything from retractable roof stadiums to the space shuttle. It applies that same excellence to the 55 drives it has held with ConnectLife since 2011 and several more it has booked through the rest of 2024. Moog is one of the rare drives that requires BOTH of ConnectLife’s buses to keep up with demand! And it’s only growing, thanks to the company encouraging staff to donate during business hours.


Buffalo General Medical Center accepted ConnectLife’s Hospital Partner of the Year 2024

There are few people in Western New York who work as hard as Buffalo General Medical Center’s chaplain Father Richard Augustyn. The tireless advocate for saving lives has chaired the drive since 2010 with a relentless effort to recruit donors, whether in person through making rounds, bringing in retired staff, and encouraging his St. Jude Center congregation, or through eye-catching emails. Many donors say they come just because of his efforts, which also include a large basket to raffle off at each drive – and all that work helps save lives at the very hospital where he works!


Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart  accepted ConnectLife’s High School Partner of the Year 2024

The students of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart include dedicated members of the ConnectLife club (formerly the Donate Life club) to promote blood and organ donation within the school. Their work and that of organizers Lyn Biniszkiewicz and Jane Coughlin has led to 18 successful drives and nearly 600 donors since 2011, with two more drives planned in the next year. Jane and Lyn praise the students for taking the mission of the club to heart to educate, advocate, and encourage people to become lifelong donors.


Kenmore Library accepted ConnectLife’s Public Sector Partner of the Year 2024

ConnectLife and Unyts blood drives at the Kenmore Library go all the way back to 2010, and the donations there were a lifeline when so many other drives had to be canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The library and sponsor Nicole Bermingham kept the collections going during that difficult time to ensure Kenmore residents had a place to donate – and the efforts have helped encourage other drives to emerge in the village as well. The library continues to host quarterly drives and will hit 400 units of blood collected before the end of the year.


Hilbert College  accepted ConnectLife’s University Partner of the Year 2024

Another sponsor who goes back to 2010, Hilbert College has been an incredible partner to ConnectLife. Thanks to the work of people like sponsor Rachel Wozniak, the school spreads the message and mission of blood donation across campus and even lets ConnectLife reps into classes to talk about the importance of donating. That no doubt contributes to a long history of success at blood drives, which have collected almost 950 units of blood across 14 years – that’s almost 3,000 lives impacted! Hilbert has hosted 40 drives so far and has four more scheduled in the next year, continuing its mission to save lives in Western New York.


The Jillybean Community Blood Drive accepted ConnectLife’s Community Partner of the Year 2024

Did you know that you can host a blood drive at your house? Jillian Rushman does that every three months or so at her Lancaster home, a mission that started when her sister Hannah struggled through a battle with leukemia as a child and relied on the generosity of blood donors to survive to this day. Jill’s enthusiasm to honor all childhood cancer fighters and encourage people to save their lives through donation led her to host ten blood drives with ConnectLife in just three years, with four more on the way – a testament to the power that a one person’s experience can have on so many others.


US Customs accepted ConnectLife’s Law Enforcement Partner of the Year 2024

It’s hard to imagine blood drives with US Customs & Border Protection being nearly as successful without the support of organizer Kevin Parks, who has chaired them since 2013. His recruitment efforts start well before the drives with officers at the local bridges and continue when ConnectLife shows up, making sure that every walk-in has a spot to donate. They even continued during the pandemic when his agency wasn’t able to host drives, with Parks coordinating to find drives where his officers could donate elsewhere. That means he’s responsible for well more than the 900+ units that his drives have collected over the years – and many more to come!

Please join us in thanking these incredible sponsors and the countless others who make sure blood is there when hospitals need it most! And please consider hosting one yourself – you can call us at (716) 529-4270 or email to find out more and start your own lifesaving journey.

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