Special Memorial Day blood drive to honor 3 fallen National Guard soldiers

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — This Memorial Day weekend, a blood drive will be held to honor the three fallen National Guard soldiers who died last month after a helicopter crash in Mendon.

54-year-old Steven Skoda of Rochester, 39-year-old Christian Koch of Honeoye Falls, and 30-year-old Daniel Prial of Rochester, were killed when their UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission when it crashed in a farmer’s field along West Bloomfield Road near Cheese Factory Road.

This blood drive, which will be held at Marketplace Mall, is a way to both honor their memory for Memorial Day Weekend, while also addressing an urgent need for blood.

Area Booking Manager for the Red Cross and Organizer of the drive Alison Parker said that with people returning to their busy lives, there has been a decline in blood donations.

“Sometimes, it’s so easy to forget why we have that long weekend and people get a day off, but something like this is a great way to bring everyone back, and what better way to remember and honor their service than to come out give back to save another life.”

Parker said she and other organizers are hoping this three-day weekend opens up more time for those who want to help with this critical need, while remembering local servicemen.

“A single car accident victim could use up to a 100 pints of blood in the one day their incident takes place so something like that where you just don’t now who’s going to need blood and when it could happen to someone.”

The drive will take place from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Dick’s Sporting Goods entrance at the Marketplace Mall.

The Red Cross is hoping to collect 85 total units of blood in those two days. Those interested can sign up here.

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