Sun Valley Volunteer Fire Company Hosts Memorial Blood Drive for Former Fire Chief

December 18, 2009

October 16, 2009 (Ashley, PA)The Sun Valley Volunteer Fire Company of Effort, Pennsylvania is hosting a blood drive on October 22, 2009 in memory of Gary B. Christman, their former fire chief.  Gary, who fought a determined battle against stage four cancer passed away recently after being in the care of Pocono Medical Center. Gary, 54 years old, lived in Sun Valley for 35 years.  He started as a junior fireman at age 14.  Gary and his wife Joan were together for 22 years and share four sons, one daughter and 12 grandchildren.  He was an employee of the American Can Company for the past dozen years.

Gary’s story is one of lifelong community volunteerism. He was with the fire company for more than 20 years, responding not only to fires but also to ambulance calls as a medic.  Through it all, he gained a reputation for selflessness – always putting the needs of others before his own.  He was a Rolling Thunder regular, riding his Harley to honor veterans, and was known for delivering Christmas baskets to needy area families around the holidays.  You could always count on him when Toys for Tots time came again.  And he was a regular blood donor all along.

We urge you to ask your readers to step up in memory of Gary by donating blood on October 22at the Sun Valley Volunteer Fire Company (1205 Juniper Road in Effort, PA) from 1PM – 6PM.  A role model for all of us, he is one who in the past recognized that the products of blood donation—red cells, plasma and platelets—are often a great help in cancer treatment and survival. His memorial blood drive is being coordinated by a family friend, Sue Smith, herself a breast cancer survivor. 

To donate blood and platelets through the American Red Cross, individuals must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health. Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. For additional information regarding donor eligibility or where to give blood, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visit