Mayor Mims Helps Solvita Toast January Donor Month & New Year of Saving Lives

January 5, 2024 | Press Releases

DAYTON, Ohio – Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims recalled seeing blood transfusions save the lives of soldiers in Vietnam as he helped announce January National and Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month at the Solvita Dayton Center Jan. 4 kick-off event.

“I’m a Vietnam vet,” said Mayor Mims. “There were individuals who were wounded and sometimes right there, they need somebody else’s blood. We have some situations where those things happened and they really, really saved lives.”

National Blood Donor Awareness Month was proclaimed in 1969 and the Ohio General Assembly declared January Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month in 2018. The joint purpose is to honor donors and encourage more donations during the winter months when the holidays, severe weather, and seasonal illness make it difficult to maintain a sufficient blood supply.

“As we kick-off 2024, Solvita is asking everyone to make blood donation part of your New Year’s Resolution,” said Solvita Vice President for Donor Services Tracy Morgan.

“For existing donors, we ask for you to come back throughout the year to give regularly. For donors that haven’t given within the past year, come back and donate to remember how good it feels to help others.  And for those that have never donated before, we welcome you and invite you to be part of our mission.”

Mayor Mims has supported Solvita’s efforts to recruit minority donors for the better treatment of sickle cell patients and believes encouraging young people to help others is part of the Donor Month message.

“Our young people in the city of Dayton are 20% of our population, but they’re 100% of our future,” he said. “Learning how to be a part of a citizenry, being part of a community, puts them in a very, very special place.”

Xenia donor Judy LaMusga was part of the delegation that gave proponent testimony for Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month in 2017. She is a platelet donor and is Solvita’s second-ranked female donor with 564 lifetime donations.

“I was fortunate to testify before the House Health Committee to get the Blood Donor Month bill passed,” she said.  “That’s part of my commitment to Solvita.”

Solvita COO Diane Wilson, Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims, Donor Service VP Tracy Morgan, donor Judy LaMusga.

“There have been couple of times when I knew where my platelets went to people,” said Judy. “The nurse walked over and put this tag on my little bag that the platelets were going into. I said, ‘What is that?’ She said, ‘That’s the name of the person who’s going to get your platelets. I can’t tell you the name, but I can tell you she has cancer, she’s female, and they are going from here right to the hospital.’ I said right then, ‘Oh my God, I’m coming back.’”

She was part of a group of donors recruited to help a little boy with a terminal illness.  “We donated our platelets and managed to save his life long enough to give the family one last Christmas,” she said.

“Those kinds of connections make you committed to the understanding that if you don’t give, it’s not going to be there. Someone is not going to receive it, someone could die.”

Solvita donors directly impact the lives of patients in more than 30 hospitals across Solvita’s 18-county region and beyond. Solvita must register 350 blood donors every day to meet the needs of its partner hospitals.

“Let’s toast to National Blood Donor Month and to keep the momentum and message about the importance of blood donation throughout the year,” said Tracy Morgan. “Raise your glasses, or in this case your arm to join me.”

Everyone who registers to donate at any Solvita blood drive, or the Solvita Dayton Center in January and February will receive the “Donor Love” long-sleeve, hoodie shirt, while supplies last. Schedule an appointment to donate on the Donor Time app, by calling (937) 461-3220, or at