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Owego Blood Drive Continues Tradition of Giving Back

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On Thursday, continuing a tradition of gratitude, Owego played host to the 19th annual Castellucci Memorial Blood Drive. The event keeps the memories of the town supervisor's parents alive, while giving back to patients in need.

Town Supervisor Donald Castelluci Jr. held the drive in honor of his parents, Donald and Grace, at the Owego Elks Club. Castelluci's father passed away on Christmas Day in 1997. His mother died in 2010. He says blood and platelets helped to extend their lives when they were ill. Now, he makes a point to return the favor. It's his way of giving thanks to those who, years ago, helped his family.

"We are a very close-knit community. So I know a lot of the people that come in each year. And then there's a lot of people that just walk in off the street; when they're shopping, and walk in after seeing the sign out front. So I think it's just about the nature of people. And it feels good to know that they're coming in and they're trying to help people. That's what this is supposed to be about," said Castellucci.

Castellucci also said that for every person who donates blood, three patients are helped. Over the years, more than 570 people have donated to more than 1,700 patients as part of this blood drive.