Don Castellucci to hold final Red Cross Blood Drive

On Dec. 22, from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Town of Owego Supervisor Donald Castellucci, Jr. will be sponsoring his 25th annual Red Cross Blood Drive. It will be located at the Elks Lodge in Owego and will be the last one held. 

Castellucci started sponsoring blood drives during his father’s final days battling cancer. For the last 24 years during the month of December, he has dedicated the drive to his dad’s memory. His dad passed away on Dec. 25. 

“This has become the tradition that I use to honor my dad’s memory and now my mom’s as well,” said Castellucci, adding, “We have helped raise awareness of the importance of donating blood over the last 24 years. I have done that by sponsoring blood drives in my father’s memory, recruiting over 780 donations since his death on Dec. 25, 1997.” 

“These donations have helped save over 2340 lives,” he added.

Grace Castellucci passed away in May of 2010, also a victim of two cancers. She received blood during her four-year battle.  

Castellucci stated, “It is comforting to know that many people are willing to give an hour of their time and a pint of blood to help others. I have witnessed both the help and the generosity, first hand.”

Castellucci explained that each year brings a different combination of donors, young and old, who help to make the drive a continued success. The goal, he noted, is to get 60 donors this year.  

“That would be a record,” Castellucci exclaimed.

As in the past, there will be a rigatoni and meatball dinner served to all donors. They also encourage donors and others to bring food donations to the drive that will be collected for the new Tompkins-Tioga Catholic Charities shelter located in Apalachin. There will also be a barrel to collect food items located in the Owego Town Hall from Dec. 17 through Dec. 21 during the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. They will also collect cash or check monetary donations to benefit Tioga County Rural Ministry in Don Sr. and Grace’s name. The donations collected last year, along with the several boxes of food, was much appreciated. 

This will be Don’s 91st donation since he started the drive. 

He wrote, in a release, “Using just an hour of your time you can save a life. Can you think of a better way to make difference? Perhaps you have donated in the past or maybe you have never donated. Now is the time to give that early Christmas present to a stranger you will never meet. Give it a try and see how great it feels to help save a life.”

To make an appointment, contact Don at (607) 687-0123 opt 7. You can also call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or sign up at 

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