BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- A Bonita Springs blood bank honors a man who's anything but your typical donor. Bill Stauffer's been regularly donating blood for almost 60 years. On Friday, his total donation mark topped 20 gallons- a milestone worth celebrating.
A lifetime of donating blood started quite simply for 76-year old Bill Stauffer.
"I was a 17 year old soldier at Fort Evans, Massachusetts, when a Red Cross lady at the end of the pay line said, 'If you give a pint of blood, we'll give you a ticket to the Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway Park,"
Almost 60 years after attending that game, Stauffer's still donating. He's been stopping in at the Bonita Springs Community Blood Center every 56 days for the past 10 years.
"It's becoming kinda like going to the gas station now!" Stauffer laughed.
But his sense of humor doesn't overshadow the fact that many consider him a hero. The blood bank says his 20 gallons of blood has helped as many as 480 lives.
"It's amazing. I think a lot of our donors come in as often as they can, but we don't have a high echelon of donors who come in every 56 days like Bill has," Laura Rosen of the Bonita Spring Community Blood Center said Friday.
Six decades after Stauffer's first donation, the Red Sox are cheering him on, celebrating his story with a special plaque and t-shirt. The only reward topping that: the gift of giving.
"I think it's just a great thing to get the feeling that, hey, you may have in fact saved someone's life," Stauffer said.
Bonita Springs Community Blood Center says their demand for blood spikes every summer, at the same time that donations traditionally slowdown.
If you'd like to donate, visit www.givebloodcbc.org, or call 239-495-1138.