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HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A community is coming together to save lives through blood donations in memory State Trooper Anthony Raspa, who died on-duty at age 24 earlier this year.
Community Blood Services is teaming up with the Highland Park First Aid Squad to host a blood drive in honor of the late State Trooper at the Senior/Youth Center, located at 220 South 6th Avenue, on August 25 from 3-9pm.
Trooper Raspa, a Highland Park resident, was killed in a vehicle crash after hitting a deer on the Interstate 195 in Freehold Township.
It is recommended donors call (201) 251-3703 to schedule an appointment, but walk-ins will be accepted as well. Donors should eat before donation, bring identification, be in good health, and weigh at least 110 pounds to donate.
Community Blood Services serves more than 20 hospitals, trauma and medical centers in New Jersey and New York, providing tissue services and blood.
Individuals who are 18-44 years old can also register at the drive for the marrow registry with the HLA Registry Community Blood Services. Potential donors will get a simple cheek swab and fill out a health form.
Naomi Hanoch, drive chairperson and a senior member of the Highland Park First Aid Squad, said the drive is a good way to honor Raspa.
“Anthony Raspa died serving his community. By asking community members to give blood and register on the national bone marrow registry we are paying homage to his ultimate sacrifice,” Hanoch said.
“Anthony chose a career in which he could make a difference in the lives of others. Giving blood represents such an essential act, donating something valuable so others may live.”
Benjamin Keepers, senior member at the Highland Park First Aid Squad, did not know Raspa personally, but said his life and death each had a big impact within the small community.
“I am shocked by how much he touched people’s lives. I did not know him personally. However, based on the community’s response and conversation, I have no doubt he really cared about protecting lives,” Keepers said.