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Jan. 18 blood drive to honor late police captain

Jim Stewart
Jim Stewart

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that the first Taylor Babec Community Blood Drive of 2018 will take place Jan. 16.

The drive will be in honor of the late Jim Stewart, a dedicated Heartland Blood Centers donor who led the state’s attorney’s investigations division for more than seven years, according to a news release. He also was a retired Joliet police captain who died in early November after an extended illness. Stewart followed a strict blood-donation regimen, scheduling as many as six appointments a year since 1987.

Throughout that time frame, Stewart made 160 donations, giving 20 gallons of blood, which means his donations provided life-saving transfusions to 480 patients who had been in collisions, suffered serious injuries or undergone medical procedures.

“Jim Stewart was an amazing individual who certainly left his mark on our local law enforcement community,” Glasgow said in the news release. “But one of his greatest legacies might be the countless people he impacted by quietly and regularly giving blood the minute he was eligible to make another donation.”

Heartland representatives will present a plaque to Stewart’s widow, Amy, to honor his lifetime of donating blood.

All donors will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift card. Everyone who donates will receive a free noodle bowl (a $13 value) from Noodles & Company.

“We may never know for certain how many people are alive today because of his dedication,” Glasgow said. “I would encourage everyone in local law enforcement and in county government to roll up their sleeves at our January blood drive in Jim Stewart’s honor.”

January also is National Blood Donor Month because it is when donations are needed the most. Many choose to schedule elective surgeries after Jan. 1 and blood is needed to help those involved in winter car accidents. It’s also a time when bad weather, illness and a hectic post-holiday schedule prevent people from making blood donations.

The blood drive will be from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. in front of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at 304 N. Scott St., directly across the street from the Will County Office Building. Parking will be in the Will County Office parking lot.

A donation takes about 30 minutes. Walk-in donors are also welcome.

Appointments to donate can be made by calling Jennifer Babec at 815-325-4282 or by visiting heartlandbc.org.